She’s baaack – an encore from Grandma Daisy

She couldn’t stay quiet for long. Grandma Daisy is back, just a few weeks before election day. This is an encore, but it didn’t need much modification to be current.

Fiddle-dee-dee. Tomorrow will be another day.

As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!

Big Brother is watching.  

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Wilbur didn’t want food, he wanted love.

I have created a monster!

 

Well, grandkids, all of these are lines from classic books. Let’s see how many you or your mother can identify. What? So few? What are they teaching these days — never mind.

Let’s look at the last one. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,  of course. Truth be told, though, young ones, this particular quote isn’t a direct quote from the novel. It’s kind of like crediting  Buzz Lightyear with “To infinity and beyond!” when he only said it twice in the first Toy Story movie.

The truth is that Shelley’s work inspired the phrase.  An English teacher I knew (they’re always handy when you need a good literature quote) mentioned that there is no exact quote in which Dr. Frankenstein says or another character says that he/you have created a monster–it’s more of a thematic draw from the overall text. Frankenstein warns the man who meets him at the end of his life how “dangerous is the acquisition of knowledge,” as a way of saying, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!” in keeping with the “created a monster” idea.

So, young ones, back to the upcoming election issues – like the state budget. Governor Talks-a-lot claimed to have innovative changes for our fair state’s education system. His changes consisted of a straining-at-the-seams budget for public schools and a significant increase in a program called Vouchers. Vouchers were grants, money, scholarships paid by the state for students to attend private schools. Private. Not public charters, not home-schooling, but private schools. Governor Walk-on-by ignored the evidence that current voucher schools in Milwaukee were not doing any better then their public counterparts down the road. In fact, if they measured success by the standardized tests of the day, voucher schools did a poorer job of educating their students.

Governor Walk-all-over-you decided that his “innovative education reform” would expand the voucher program into other middling to large-ish cities. Make it bigger. Spread the money around. Around the state, that is. One city, one school district at a time.

The Governor, despite his lack of scientific or educational background, had created a monster. He wanted to open up the private vouchers, damage the state’s education budget, and further gut public schools.

Governor Walkerstein was ready to create his monster. He didn’t have the wisdom of my English teacher friend to tell him that just because he could, didn’t mean he should.

Oh, young ones, it was a tough time to be a teacher. In fact, I could use a cup of coffee. Let’s take a break and talk about classic television. Have you ever seen WKRP in Cincinnati?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Green Tomatoes

Folks, this was a week ago. I hope to slip out at halftime (of the Packer game, need you ask?) and pick what’s left outside. We’ve had unseasonably warm weather, so I have a few tomato plants and several pepper plants bearing fruit.

I have a few choices. One: wait until enough tomatoes turn red to make a sauce or soup. They’re sitting in the sun; this plan has possibilities..

Tomatoes in the sun!

Tomatoes in the sun!

Or – there are two things that money can’t buy:

True love and fried green tomatoes.

True love and fried green tomatoes.

As the end of the harvest season approaches, we’re still eating good tomatoes.

Tomatoes - and herbs.

Tomatoes – and herbs. 

It’s shaping up to be a delicious autumn. Winter? We won’t talk about that yet.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Pink and more meaningless Pink

My coworker had a great word on the back of her pink t-shirt: Survivor. She is one year out from finishing her radiation therapy for her own breast cancer. We all wore matching pink shirts to show her what she already knew: we cared. We cared a lot.

The NFL’s breast cancer awareness month scatters random pink all over the field. I just can’t quite buy it, though. Something doesn’t feel right. I have questions, and I haven’t found the answers.

How much did all this pink gear cost? All for awareness? Come on, people, awareness is the lowest form of knowledge. Awareness is saying, “Look! Over here! Pay attention to me! Me! Me! Me!” Awareness is knowing it’s raining, but not caring because you’re inside a dry, warm home. Awareness is realizing the game on television is tied, but not really needing to know because you’re busy updating your Facebook status about what you just had for lunch. Awareness on its own, folks, isn’t worth much.

How much is the NFL donating, and where? To whom? I’m having a hard time finding a real answer to this. I’m finding statements like “Auction Proceeds!” and “Net Profit!” I’m not finding a true commitment to providing mammograms for diagnosis or payment for expensive anti-cancer drugs. I’m not finding real information in the form of names (organizations) or numbers (amount of actual donations, even donation goals).

As I’m watching Aaron Rodgers drape a bright pink towel around his neck, something doesn’t feel right. My coworkers t-shirt was much more meaningful.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Multi-tasking is Real Life

I had started a load of laundry and was sitting in the bedroom recliner watching the Packers play the Dolphins – and stain treating a few of Chuck’s t-shirts. You see, Chuck is the ultimate jeans and t-shirt guy, even at work. He wears his tees until they  fall to pieces or become stained and untreatable. I tear his old ones to strips to use in the garden. But we were discussing multi-tasking.

I had a stack of four or five t-shirts, mainly Chucks, with stains on them. While the jeans tossed and tumbled in the washer, I used my last bottle of Grandma’s Stain Remover to treat a variety of stains. As the Packers marched down the field, I dripped stain remover on Chuck’s wardrobe.

And I thought of an old post, one that explained what a multi-tasking weekend looks like in my household – from the perspective of the Daisy Reality Show.

The Daisy Reality Show Goes Passive Productive

You read that correctly. It’s not passive aggressive, it’s not passive vs. active. It’s the Daisy Reality Show, starting the composter mom herself, recorded live at the O.K. Chorale. The show’s director has replaced her bumbling assistant with a new, highly motivated, almost hyperactive intern.

Scene: Daisy’s bedroom. Daisy sits quietly in the recliner with her laptop computer,uploading pictures and blogging.

Intern: Daisy, you’re not doing anything! This makes for dull television!

Daisy: Not doing anything? I’ll have you know I’m over achieving right now.

Director laughs and leaves the room.

Daisy: I am multi-tasking, dear intern, a concept dear to the hearts of moms and teachers everywhere. See that cord? I’m charging my laptop. I’m downloading pictures for future blog posts. I’m blogging! And at the same time, the laundry is sorted and the third load – third load, mind you – is in the washer. That’s four tasks at once. Good enough for you?

Intern: Um…but it doesn’t look like you’re doing anything! How can I show this visually? It doesn’t work!

Daisy: I admit, it’s a challenge. But it’s your challenge, not mine. All I do is act like myself. And right now, that self is multi-tasking and resting my weary body at the same time. I feel rather proud of my productivity at the moment.

Intern (stammers)Oh-oh- okay for now, Daisy. (turns to camera operator) Let’s illustrate the various tasks she’s doing right now. Laundry. Charging computer. Can you do that?

Folks, it’s the normal life for so many adults. Get the passive chores started, like the laundry and plugging in the laptop, and then while those items are in progress, work on something else. And so it goes, at the O.K. Chorale.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Not my Typical Autumn Saturday

I didn’t go to the downtown market today. It may have been the last one, too. I was tired, stiff, sore, and just didn’t feel up to it. I have a good supply of squash, apples, and any other goodies I might have bought, so it’s okay.

I got my annual flu shot last night. I’m stiff and sore and feeling a little under the weather. Is there a cold virus attempting a takeover? I hope not. I have an extra long week next week, and it includes the first virtual classes for elementary music. I need to be strong and healthy.

Meanwhile, the garden wants to be put to bed for the winter. I “harvested” parsley seeds today in an effort to be ready for spring. Garlic I planted in a basket next to the rhubarb. If I can spot a few bulbs for my walking onions, I’ll find a new home for those, too. The onion patch will be turned into a corner of the new garage next spring. If I want the green walking onions to be part of my pantry for a few more years, they’ll need a new home just like the garlic did.

The plan for today: settle in on the couch with hot apple cider. Watch the Wisconsin Badgers dominate the football field. Take care of a few outside tasks and rest or nap in between. Keep drinking liquids.

Got it? I think it’ll be effective. Later, folks. I need to refill my cider mug.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Eating the Opponent – Miami

We made Cuban sandwiches a few seasons back. We joked about buying tuna not certified “dolphin safe.” I was ready to go with the Cuban again, but then I found something else.

And I have a staff meeting on Thursday after school.

How do these two go together? You might be surprised – or not. If I have supper in the crock pot on a staff meeting day, we’ll have something better than pizza delivery for supper. And this week, my friends, our Miami recipe works very well in a slow cooker.

Ropa Vieja, it’s called, and that translates literally as “Old Clothes.” When it’s done simmering for hours and hours, the end result resembles threads of old cloth. It’s much more descriptive than “beef simmered until it shreds.” Some recipes suggested serving on tortillas, but at least one said that it would not be authentic Cuban or Miami style on tortillas. Rice is the preferred side.

And so it goes – eating the opponent plus a staff meeting yields a good meal.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Eating the Opponent and more

Garden: progress is good. Tomatoes are in, whether green or slightly red, to ripen indoors. I pruned several plants and pulled several more. Peppers? Most will be frozen. I didn’t pull the plants yet because there are still tiny peppers on most of them! The straw bales may insulate the roots – will that be enough for another week?

Kitchen: Lots of plans, nothing really accomplished. Dear Sweet “Chuck” cooked all weekend. He’s amazingly awesome when it comes to the kitchen.

Planning ahead: I’m thinking Ropa Vieja for Eating the Opponent: Miami. It can be made in a crock pot and served over rice. Works for me!

It was a day full of close football games. I had to wait until all the OTs were over to record the totals in our weekly picks. Results: Buttercup the bunny is tied with Chuck for the lead with 8. I am one game behind them with 7 correct predictions, and Amigo trails with 4. All that is before Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football. Last Thursday? We all picked Green Bay, of course.

Pantry: I read an article titled 16 Indestructible Foods that would Outlast the Apocalypse. I don’t have corn syrup and Ramen noodles, and I don’t plan to buy any, but those are the exceptions. We have most of the rest. However, I’m still voting for Mary Burke for governor. I have no desire to experience any more Walker Apocalypse.

Oh, and laundry. All is clean, dry, and folded. Let the week begin!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Putting the Garden to Bed – maybe

My to-do list from Friday night had a big obstacle thrown in its way on Saturday morning: rain.

I put on a rain jacket and hat and went to a dreary farmers’ market. I bought squash, zucchini, and Honey Crisp apples. Each and every vendor said, “Thank you for coming out in this weather!”

Later on, I took advantage of a break in the heavy rain, put on a hoodie and baseball cap and brought in a batch of peppers and tomatoes. I was almost half done with the tomatoes when I realized it wasn’t just sprinkling anymore; it was a steady shower. I was getting soaked.

My logic runs like this. It’s warm enough to rain, so it won’t freeze overnight. I can leave the rest of the tomatoes on the vine for one more day.

And then, I went inside to start laundry.

In the process, I ended up spilling a light sprinkle of detergent on the carpet by the washer, so I pulled out the vacuum. At that point, I decided that every task I’ve attempted all day has ended in sprinkles or drizzles, I should just sit down and watch the Badger game with Amigo.

They were playing Northwestern – in the rain. At least I was dry.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The To Do-Be-Do-Be-Do List Returns

A killing frost threatens, so I must get at the final harvest tasks. The to-do list is growing, and here I sit on the couch, stretched out and relaxed with my laptop. Maybe all of this will look more possible tomorrow.

  • Dig up garlic plot. There may be at least three bulbs I can pull apart and plant.
  • Bring in all tomatoes big enough to ripen. They will ripen indoors.
  • Bring in the mini-greenhouse shelves and herbs.
  • Transplant blueberries into pails for the winter in preparation for the garage replacement project that would surely destroy them.
  • Make a trip to Fleet Farm for a backyard shed. Start moving garden tools and equipment out of garage and into shed.
  • Empty rain barrels. Turn them upside down for the winter.
  • Bring in any peppers of decent sizes.
  • Pull pepper plants out of straw bales.
  • Spread straw around garden.

Know what, friends and readers? Lying here with my laptop is looking better and better. Maybe I’ll work on laundry and take naps instead.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS