Showing posts from November, 2012

The Mom who didn’t was dishes

Way back in 1950, a little book was written and published about a man who just stopped doing his dishes.  He simply came home one night, starving, and quickly fed himself and thought he’d do the washing the next day.  But the next day, he came home twice as hungry, and that was the start of it all.  Soon he ran out of dishes, so he began using any vessel in his home he could find, including eating from a candy dish and a flowerpot.  Dirty dishes piled high all over his house until finally he thought he should do something about it.  She hit the breaking point. Mothers and fathers who are raising children who do not pick up after themselves across the world now have a bit of a hero, a mom who simply stopped doing everyone else’s dishes.  And picking up their clothes.  And everything else.  For a series of days, she handwashed and put away any dishes that she herself used, and would only wash laundry if it was left near the washing machine, sorted. This brilliant mother cataloged h

Getting to the core of apple philosophy

October, well known for its color and crisp mornings, also has something else going for it.  It’s national apple month and has been just about since 1904.  And because I love apples almost as much as I love October, I feel it is my duty to pay homage to the humble apple as I admit my naivety about one of America’s favorite fruits.  Juicy, sweet, convenient, and crunchy, just thinking about them makes me want to head to the kitchen and shine one up on my shirt. I eat a lot of apples, but after learning recent facts, I’ll never eat another apple and not marvel just a little bit. Growing up in Ohio, I was fed story upon story of Johnny Appleseed.  I’d even go as far as to say that a good portion of us have sat in dimly lit classroom watching a cartoon man with a pot on head and nothing on his feet on a massive TV that was wheeled down from the library.  I grew up thinking (and singing) that he planted lots of trees, and so today we honor him.  Pass the cider, please.   And then

A daring adventure race

One of my choices for a time machine lunch would have to be Helen Keller.  I’d have her over, sit at my kitchen table and tell her that if she could see it, one of her own quotes hangs upon my wall, just above the door.  It serves as a graphic reminder to me that, “Life is a daring adventure, or nothing at all.”  (She said that.  I think she’d dig my fancy wall sticker.) A quest for adventure is nothing new in my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The time spent out of one’s comfort zone, whether or not your well-being is in danger, gets the blood pumping and just gives you that little boost of life that only comes from situations like that.  It’s a natural rush and honestly a bit of an addiction. So when The Wilderness Cente r advertised an adventure race, I immediately signed up and took my husband with me.  A team race that was scheduled in about a month, the two of us looked at each other after reading what the day was all about: 35 miles of biking, 3 miles of ca

And now, your local fishing forecast

I have this ongoing beef with weather forecasters, and having actually met a real, live, on-tv-everyday weatherman, I still continue to have issues with the things they tell us.  I fully understand that weather prediction is not an exact science, and that the plethora of factors that go into a single sunny day is enough to give anyone a 50% chance of accuracy, but really.  C’mon. Originally, my question was this: if they announce a 30% chance of rain, does that mean that it will definitely rain in 30% of the area?  Or does it mean that there is a 30% chance that rain will fall?  Will it rain 30% of the time?  (This is really a legitimate question.  I promise.) I have since learned that, by definition, 30% chance of rain means that “30% of the viewing area will see rain.” OH I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN. So that USED to be my beef.  Now my biggest question is: Have you ever been on Lake Erie?  Do you know what a “wave” is?  What about a “ruler?” As it happens, our family booked o

Toma-toe, tomat-oh

All hail the tomato.  It is the base of so much of our cuisine and stands firm in its acidic ability to thrive, multiply, and fill home gardens everywhere.  Often misunderstood and living its life as a conversation topic in the fruit or vegetable debate (we’ll get there later), the simple tomato deserves a little more respect than we give it. First, a basic history of this odd plant whose leaves leave the distinctive tomato-y smell whenever you brush against them.  It is generally believed that the tomato that we know and love today originated somewhere in South America.  In the 1500’s, it traveled across the ocean blue and made a quite a splash; it’s nightshade relation to other poisonous plants typically turned people away.  The Italians, as I’ve read, were the ones who eventually fell in love with it.  I figure that they were faced with a giant bowl of un-sauced spaghetti when this thing showed up, so they gave it a whirl.  Personally, I’m glad they did. It didn’t make its w

Worth the weight snack mix

It's hard being an anti-chocolate person. Even harder as a woman. But when I came across this snack mix (or something similar), my inadequate feelings flew out the window. This is like Rice Krispie treats on steroids. I admit that I often post recipes on this blog so that I have a place to keep them safe from certain irresponsible members of my family who continue to lose things.  It's me, by the way. So after perfecting this recipe this morning, i thought it wise to quickly taupe it here for safe keeping. And sharing, of course. This doesn't have a good name.  Suggestions accepted! Mia together in a large bowl: 4.5 cups golden Grahams 6.5 cups rice chex 2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened is best, but sweetened will work, too) 1 cup sliced almonds In saucepan combine: 1 stick butter 3/4 cup Karo syrup 3/4 cup sugar Cook and bring to a boil.  Continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from hear and add in 1 tsp vanilla.  Pour over cereal mix and stir to co

Writing in Mrs. M. on the ballot

During my time at the College of Wooster, I was selected for a special course in leadership.  My first day, I looked around the table at the fine young men and women who, quite frankly, were smarter than I, and instantly panicked.  As a geology major, I was up to my ears in my senior thesis which involved collapsing roofs in coal mines and while the rest of the students in class were studying the classics and great leaders throughout history, I could easily tell the stories of the deposition of our eastern Ohio stratigraphy. This didn’t help much when it came to the course on leadership. On the first day of class we each went around the room and named someone whom we each thought was a great leader.  The historians in the crowd named kings and authors.  The political science majors named politicians.  Knowing that I would inevitably embarrass myself, I named a person who served as a personal leader, someone who while may have not changed the course of history, changed my life.  I