ar_wahan: (narcissuspuss)

Some of you will cheer because of this. I am just sad.

This evening, inspired by [ profile] capriciouslass, I finally attempted to import my LJ entries to Dreamwidth. It did not take nearly as long as I'd thought! My next challenge is to REMEMBER to post from there, and that I've correctly asked Dreamwidth to automatically crosspost. Will have to rebuild my icon collection . . . . (Apparently I have more than 15, so only the default icon imported.)

I am ar_wahan there, too.

Spent all day today at the UU craft fair, because I was in charge of the used book table! Of course, I bought some, including an AWESOME find for my daughter (heeheehee), but given that I came in with two large bags of used books to donate, and only left with three books, I think I did well. :-)

Between Thursday and Friday, I also made 5 dozen muffins for the "cafe" downstairs in the morning -- three dozen pumpkin, two dozen very yummy muffins made with my leftover cranberry-clementine savory relish from Thanksgiving! (Don't worry, I'd frozen it, it wasn't sitting in my refrigerator all week.)

I still have extra canned pumpkin left from the pumpkin batch. I will make pumpkin tea loaves tomorrow to freeze.

I am beat. Will make dinner and feed horses now . . . (horses fed).

I meant to crosspost this from DW, but it didn't work, and of course that's probably because of security measures LJ has taken in light of the recent DDOS attacks. So this is a cut-and-paste with edit tweaks to refer to "there" rather than "here," change the subject line, etc.

ar_wahan: (Default)
Some of you will cheer because of this. I am just sad.

This evening, I imported my LJ entries to Dreamwidth and hope to REMEMBER to post from here, and that I've correctly asked Dreamwidth to automatically crosspost. Will have to rebuild my icon collection . . . . (Apparently I have more than 15, so only the default icon imported.)

Spent all day today at the UU craft fair, because I was in charge of the used book table! Of course, I bought some, including an AWESOME find for my daughter (heeheehee), but given that I came in with two large bags of used books to donate, and only left with three books, I think I did well. :)

Between Thursday and Friday, I also made 5 dozen muffins for the "cafe" downstairs in the morning -- mostly pumpkin, but two dozen very yummy muffins made with my leftover cranberry-clementine savory relish from Thanksgiving! (Don't worry, I'd frozen it, it wasn't sitting in my refrigerator all week.)

I still have extra canned pumpkin left from the pumpkin batch. I will make pumpkin tea loaves tomorrow to freeze.

I am beat. Will make dinner and feed horses now . . .

So let's see if this short test post works!
ar_wahan: (LGBT Ally)

I'm going to watch it again to see how we can get the sheet music for the UU choir.
ar_wahan: (tongue out)
We have been having VERY heavy rains and high winds the last two days, the result of Tropical Storm Nicole.

I just received the following (global) email from our UU office administrator:

The Connecticut River Source-to-Sea Clean-Up scheduled for Saturday, October 2nd has been postponed due to the high levels and potential flooding of the river.

(This is an annual event that many organizations, including my UU Society, turn out for.)
ar_wahan: (Default)
Subject line is stolen from the title of a vegetarian cookbook written by Leslie Cerier, who lives in town and whose daughter played with Samurai for many years on soccer teams:

I made three vegan dishes yesterday for the UU new member dinner. People liked all of them, but the hit was from Leslie's cookbook, with omnivores and the one vegan all wanting the recipe. I made it to be a "savory topper for toasted bread" (like an appetizer), but it ended up as a side dish. Leslie, the author, also notes that it can go on top of pasta. (I doubled the recipe that follows, and thought I'd end up with too much left over. Nope!)

Carrots with Wild Mushrooms and Basil
Yields 4-6 servings

1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup dried shitake mushroom caps
3 cups coarsely chopped portabella mushrooms
2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
2/3 cup coarsely chopped onions
7 gloves garlic, thickly sliced
4 1/3 tablespoons fresh basil, or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley

[NOTES: I already had SLICED dried shitake mushroom caps from an Asian food store, purchased last week when I wanted to make soup. I used packages of pre-sliced "baby bella" mushrooms, much cheaper than the big ones (even without being on sale! And they were ...). Since the whole caps or larger portabellas would end up sliced anyway, I figured it wouldn't matter. I also used half the garlic.]

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place dried mushrooms in small bowl and cover with water. Let stand 20 minutes or until softened. Remove and slice. Discard the soaking water, or save for soup stock or to water plants. *
3. Transfer the sliced porcini and shitake to a covered crock or baking dish, along with the portabella mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, basil, oil, and salt. Toss well.
4. Cover and bake for 35 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.
5. Add the parsley to the vegetables, stir and serve

Leslie notes "For a change . . . . Soak the dried porcini and shitake mushrooms in wine or stock instead of water."

* I saved the soaking water because it smelled heavenly! I have a lot of cut-up vegetable from another appetizer tray left over, and will see what I can do between the water and the vegetables. Maybe cook some udon or other noodles in the water and make a stir fry . . . and thicken the stir fry with a little more of the water and corn starch or something.
ar_wahan: (Default)
 I learned something new at yesterday's Sunday service.  Alison, our minister, talked to the children (and adults) about a movement that's been going on for a few years (she just learned of herself). She passed out cards and little bars of Fair Trade organic chocolate for the children to give to homeowners when they go trick-or-treating. It's an educational campaign to raise awareness of the fact that many farms that supply cocoa to major chocolate manufacturers use forced child labor. The cards encourage the people who'll give out candy to children Oct. 31 to buy Fair Trade Certified chocolate and cocoa products next Halloween (and year-round).

The web site is www.

The kits (cards and mini candy bars to distribute) have been sold out, but you can find the miniature bars AND (*pings[ profile] rowangolightly*) links to areas on that have other types of chocolate products.

(One of the kids who sampled the candy bar Alison had given her said she didn't like it. Well, of course not -- it was the more bitter dark chocolate, more to the liking of an adult They do have milk chocolate, gift boxes with assorted chocolates, etc.) The web site also has many other Fair Trade products.

We rarely get trick-or-treaters at our door here -- most kids are driven by their parents to the center of town, where the houses are in reasonable walking distance of each other -- but I thought it was a great idea.

ar_wahan: (Default)
Not much to say here. Another VERY VERY VERY rainy day.

We had a UU Small Group Ministry potluck today. I brought a thai noodle salad with chicken, and realized suddenly (as I was putting it in the more attractive bowl than the one I'd made it in) that I'd brought the same dish last year!

Elizabeth, the wife of our Small Group member, is an avid gardener. Their new house has a greenhouse area, and she started tomato plants there months ago. When she heard that all my tomatoes were struggling and still very small and green with our weather, she offered me one of hers! (They are all still in pots, and have RED, RIPE tomatoes on thsm!!!!) It tipped over in the car ride home, and three ripe tomatoes fell off, but it seems OK. I have rubber floor mats in the car, not the original carpeted ones, so no damage done.

When in town, I checked VM and learned that an AE had left one. I called him from there. He wanted to talk about a letter I'd submitted yesterday -- said he thought it was good, but had a few tweaks. He said to call his office phone when I got home. (I told him I'd be home in an hour.) Just in case he'd already left by the time I got home, he'd email me his cell phone number.

So ... I got home around 4:30 (1 hour, 15 minutes), called his office; his VM immediately picked up. I figured he was on the line, left a message that I was back. Checked email, no message from him with cell phone #.

So, it's now 6:30 p.m. on a Friday. I figure he just forgot to send me the email. Ah well. Too bad. I'm outta my office now. :)

Samurai is going off tomorrow to spend the weekend with Mai and two other girls (including her future apartment mate) in New Hampshire. At least the weather will be nice for her drive! (We have flash flood warnings here at present.)
ar_wahan: (cooking)
I can't claim credit for the name of the recipe I made for the homeless shelter guests yesterday. It was created by Catherine Yoder, of New Paris, Indiana, and published in Taste of Home Quick Cooking's magazine, and later in its 2009 Annual Recipes cookbook, which puts all the recipes of the year in one place. She wrote, "My kids and husband don't like some veggies, so I sneak them into this recipe."

I've been told the homeless guests (and the two UUs who took the pans over to them and served them) really liked it.

Prep time: 25 min. Bake time: 55 min + standing

Yields: 10-12 servings (I tripled this for the shelter guests, making one pan meatless)

2 pounds ground beef

1 package (16 oz) frozen California-blend vegetables  (Here Ar_wahan inserts a note. My store showed CA-blend as one combo, but the photo in the cookbook clearly showed carrots in the mix, which the CA-blend did not include. I used an Italian-blend which included broccoli, cauliflower and carrots sliced in long strips.  It worked just fine. I had tried a 1/2 batch of this recipe in February, just to make sure it worked.)

2 eggs

3 cups (24 oz) 2% cottage cheese

2 jars (26 oz. each) spaghetti sauce

12 no-cook lasagna noodles

2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Meanwhile, cook vegetables according to package directions; drain. Finely chop vegetables; place in bowl. Stir in eggs and cottage cheese; set aside.

Drain beef; stir in spaghetti sauce. Spread 2 cups meat mixture into a greased 13-in x 9-in x 2 in baking dish. Top with four noodles. Spread half of the vegetable mixture to edge of noodles.Layer with 2 cups meat mixture and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with four noodles, remaining vegetable mixture and 2 cups meat mixture. Layer with remaining noodles, meat mixture and mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 375 degrees F. for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Let lasagna stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
ar_wahan: (Default)
Well, blessed be, my cranky office monitor has been behaving itself! It didn't flake out on me at all on Saturday, when I spent much of a beautiful, sunny, warm day inside burning CDs to back up my files. Yes, I know, I should have done this long since. (A few years ago, I took my CPU in for a *tiny* problem, and Best Buy sent it off to HP, where instead of fixing the problem and returning the CPU to me, they trashed it and told me to get another one. So I lost all my work files.)

Anyway, as of Friday, it looked as if the Gateway that I got to replace it was the culprit, so I backed everything up on CDs, thinking I'd be hauling it to Best Buy (where it's under a service contract) and hoping history did not repeat itself.

Today, the monitor is still acting OK. Yes, yes, I *did* unplug and replug the cable between the CPU and the monitor -- did this on Thursday -- but the problem was still there Friday. Perhaps in *replugging* it back together Saturday, in order to back up the files, I made a better connection; or perhaps moving the CPU around giggled a loose video card inside back into place. Dunno. In any case, it's working now, and if it fails again, I can take the Gateway in and keep working on my older CPU, thanks to the CDs.

Spouse said yesterday that M., the wife of S. (a UU couple, lesbians; he knows M. because she is serving on our town's personnel committee, and she and Spouse are working with police on their contract) is interested in learning how to fly fish. I asked S. today if perchance she liked to ride horses. She does! So we may work with Spirit and Pixel in the paddock some time in the future if M. and Spouse go fishing.

I came home all fired up to clean the house, which is a pit. I'd like to have M. and S. over here for dinner, but can't while it looks like this. I did clean the upstairs bathroom a little, and did laundry, but not much else.

Today was/is cloudy and rainy. The benefit from the TENS treatment I had on Thursday has apparently worn off, and my tailbone area was hurting again this morning. Someone at church asked if I was OK, because she was seeing something on my face across the closing circle that we do at the end of the service. I told her my back hurt. She nodded, being in chronic pain (far more than mine) herself.

I don't know if that is why -- that pain --> tiredness, but right now, at not even 7 p.m., I am very weary and just want to go to bed. I haven't even gone out to feed the horses yet! I sneezed a moment ago, too. Allergies? Coming down with something? Again, I dunno. I ache all over, not just in my lower back.

So, I'm going to surprise and delight the horses by feeding them a little early tonight, so I can get dinner in the oven without having to think about much else.

Take care, everyone, if I'm not back on LJ tonight.
ar_wahan: (Default)
I spent a considerable sum buying the "Q-towers" and clips so we could put a Yakima rack system on Samurai's Saturn. It was her Christmas present. The boxes have been sitting in the living room by her "spot" since then. I intended to install them today and use the 48" bars that had originally been on my Corolla (but which were too short for the wider Prius). The idea was that she could use the cargo box we bought in August to cart her goods to Suffolk (on my Prius) to cart things back and forth herself in the future, as well as carry her ski gear. AND, to be able to transport our two kayaks herself (especially when she and Mai are on the Cape with us this June) without hijacking my car. In theory, she'd just have to transfer the J-bars from my car to her rack system.


Wherein I get annoyed with myself for not doing my homework )

Last night I made a recipe from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. I'd ordered two copies at the same time I'd ordered the small rice cooker for Samurai, had everything shipped to her to save on shipping charges('cuz I'm cheap that way), and asked her to bring the second copy home with her during spring break. There are some very interesting recipes in there! It includes "small meal" recipes, which means you aren't just cooking the rice, but vegetables and meat or other proteins at the same time. Kind of like a casserole or one-pot stovetop meal, only steamed instead of baked. And then there are other recipes for the use of the above-the-rice steamer basket.

Today was a lovely spring-like day. We could walk around without our coats, it being in the low 50s. (Of course, in a few months, we'll be thinking that is chilly!) Samurai and I went to the UU service, which was unusual -- "Jazz Theology: The Creative Pulse." Alison made some fascinating analogies between jazz and Unitarian Universalism, and all the music was jazz.

We went to the Route 9 Diner for a late breakfast, brainstormed places she might check out this week to see if she can get an application in for a summer job now (and came up with the same place at the same time, which she said meant we were reading the other's mind again; in this case, I think it's just because I know her interests). I shared [ profile] starseeking 's comment about her not getting the RA position -- that something bigger and more suitable for her was waiting -- and she appreciated that. She is already planning to do some training with PFLAG in Boston to be someone schools or other places could call to get youth to come in and speak about their experiences, and was wondering if she could get a paid job doing filing or something for them this semester. She's also going to talk to a law professor who taught an undergrad course last semester who thought very highly of her, and who might have some connections.
After we came home, I basically sat around reading because my blood glucose had dropped and I felt shaky (was waiting for the treatment to kick in). She kindly did some "spring cleaning" on my laptop, removing a bunch of "temp" files and also doing something to prevent some never-used programs from loading when Windows XP starts up (such as Kodak Easyshare, which I never use). This thing would take forever to load, and now it springs into action! Arigato, Samurai!

It was just too nice to stay in, so once glucose was up, I went out and started picking up some of the smaller sticks that are littering our front yard from the December ice storm and subsequent winter winds and ice. It looks a little better now. (There is still some snow on the ground.) I don't know what we're going to do with all the larger branches. The main parts we can use for firewood, but not the parts with twigs. The tree guy who came twice after the storm to do work said he could come back to take down the dangerously damaged pine in the spring, and bring his chipper with him to get rid of everything. Or, I could get a brush burning permit and start burning some of it. I see several of our neighbors burning brush now.

It's been a low-key weekend here, which is good. I've been deligent with my physical therapy exercises, and can feel the difference. Spouse played the guitar a bit this afternoon (I could hear him playing inside the house when I was outside picking up sticks). He finally did the dishes (his job) and is now taking a little nap. I think I'll brown some ground beef for spaghetti, then take a quick shower before continuing the rest of dinner prep (I'm not doing the shower first because I don't want the cooking smell to get in my hair!).

That's about it. *pokes you if you've dozed off*
ar_wahan: (Obama women)
Yesterday I went to Amherst for the 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast. This event, held at the middle school, was started by a local black woman to raise money for scholarships for African American graduating high school seniors. I think they said they've given money to 68 students over the years. I went for the first time last year with some other UUs, and was very impressed by the speeches made by local dignitaries and the scholarship winners themselves. I was also rather horrified to see that in the program, a lot of other churches and the Jewish Community Association had big ads (one source of financial support for the scholarships), but my UU had NEVER placed an ad, even though we've always had our folks attend. I told the board last year that we should place an ad this year. However, I wasn't at December's board meeting to raise this issue again. So last week I cobbed together a 1/4 page ad for our UU and paid for it myself (a business-card-sized ad was $40, but you could go up to a 1/4 page for only $20 more! Seemed worth it to me.) I might be partially reimbursed later, but if I'm not, it's no big deal. Betsy from our UU (who always attends) told me she and her husband might help pay for it too.

I'd say the audience was half POC and half white. The MC was white, and the panel of speakers was all POC. With the inauguration pending, there was of course a lot of talk about Obama and hope and change and commitment and promise -- that this is a man who will really listen to us, and we have to prepare ourselves to work hard WITH him, because he can't do it all himself. There was one woman who teaches women's studies who also spoke about how great it is to see a couple who respect each other and see each other as equals and a unit -- and that historically (because of slavery and other factors), this has not been the experience of most black families. It was very moving.

I arrived just before the breakfast itself at 9 a.m. (Doors opened at 8:30 a.m. for coffee and mingling.) Our friend Stan was the MC, and he apologized to the audience during the breakfast itself (the speeches and awards were afterward in the auditorium) for some "delays" that I hadn't known anything about. It turns out it was so cold, some pipes had burst. I don't know if this was in the kitchen or if it affected the heating system. Everything seemed fine by the time I got there. (Going through a hallway to the auditorium, though, there was a VERY VERY cold spot. There was even ice on the floor!)

Michael B., who was the Early Transition Program coordinator last year at the high school (this was the program that let Samurai spend her senior year at the community college) was there, and afterward I told him how Samurai was doing, and that she credits her success fall semester to her "head start" on college work through ETP. He was pleased to hear that. (She had been posting before the winter break how so many of the freshmen had been freaking out about studying for finals, and she was not -- because she'd experienced college final exams already.)

And how cold was it?

The answer and other stuff )
ar_wahan: (LGBT Ally)
The UU newsletter edtiors listserv was just sent this clip of a video produced by the UUA on equal marriage.

Made me cry.


ar_wahan: (Default)

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