Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just Me And The Whoopers

(photo from the US Fish & Wildlife folks).

I am leaving tomorrow for a conference in Dallas. After three and a half days of sitting in a room listening to people talking about the Medical Reserve Corps, I am heading for the Gulf and three days of sitting under a tree with no people talking to me at all.

I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Academy Award

Funnyface has lost some skin off the bottom of one paw and is limping. As the spousal unit pointed out, however, the limp gets much, much worse when either of us have any food in our hands.

And it disappears completely when he's going after the cat.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No Shit, Cleopatra

I was guest lecturer at one of the universities (we have two) last week, talking to students in the Public Health program about emergency preparedness and response. I spoke to them for forty-five minutes about floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, oil spills, bioterrorism, radiation poisoning etc.

The professor forwarded to me the evaluations they wrote. Pretty much all of them were positive except for one young woman who commented “A very interesting speaker but harsh.”

Crochet - A Potholder Motherlode

Another treasure from those wonderful, wonderful people at Purple Kitty.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vintage Images - Poppies

I may have posted this before but it's too pretty not to share again. From Patricia.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Deja Vu All Over Again


Easter Anise Bread

“Soften 1 package active dry yeast in ¼ cup warm water. Combine 1/3 cup each butter, sugar, and milk, and ½ teaspoon salt, scald, stirring till butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Add 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour, beat well. Add yeast, 1 slightly beaten egg, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon shredded lemon peel, 2 to 3 teaspoons anise seed; beat well. Add 2 ½ cups sifted flour or enough to make a soft dough. On lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes). Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let double in warm place (about 1 ½ hours). Punch down, let rest 10 minutes. Shape in loaf. Place in greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ inch loaf pan. Cover; let double (about 45 minutes). Bake at 375⁰ for 35 to 40 minutes (place foil over top last 20 minutes). Remove from pan; cool. Glaze with icing.”

Found in America’s Favorite Recipes from Better Homes and Gardens, published 1966. Free e-card from Dover.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Life Was So Much Simpler Then

We are driving back from shopping in town. The spousal unit has been griping about the Bad New Days (as opposed to the Good Old Ones), this particular complaint prompted by a bridge that has been out on the main road for three or four weeks with no sign that the construction crew is making much progress.

He: You know, in my world --

Me: (wearily) Yeah, we'd be driving the oxcart right through the ford, centurion.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Homeland Security

I can't tell you what a warm fuzzy I get when half of my fellow students are carrying Glocks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On The Road (Again!)

I'm gone for the next couple of days, at Incident Command Staff training. I'm getting so dad-gummed trained I about can't stand myself.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vintage Images - Fruits and Flowers

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Population Explosion

The spousal unit was called out before supper to go get a raccoon out of a neighbor's attic. Turned out it was a mamma raccoon and she took a powder, leaving behind six babies. He is now desperately trying to reach the lady who lives one county north of us and runs a raccoon rescue.

(And no, he is not bringing them back here to live. Two cats and two German Shepherds are adventure enough for anybody).

UPDATE: He got hold of the lady and is now on his way to Livingston County with a cage full of cheeping babies on the seat beside him and the heater going full blast so they don't catch cold.

And he still hasn't had his supper (my hero).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rank and File

Fourteen students have applied for a summer position in my department. Two of them are named Nimtz and Eisenhauer.

I told the boss I wanted to hire them both -- didn't even have to look at their resumes.

Frankly, My Dear

Tangy Frank Barbecue

2 T. prepared mustard
2 eight oz cans (2 cups) tomato sauce
½ c. dark corn syrup
1/3 c. vinegar
1/3 c. minced onion
2 T Worcestershire sauce
½ t. celery seed
¼ to ½ t. bottled hot pepper sauce
1 pound (8 to 10) frankfurters, scored diagonally

In skillet, blend mustard with small amount of tomato sauce; add remaining tomato sauce along with remaining ingredients, except franks. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, till mixture comes to boiling; reduce heat and simmer gently 30 minutes. Add franks; cook until franks are hot and plumped, 7 to 8 minutes. Serve in warm buns or over rice. If franks are to be served over rice, slice diagonally before adding to barbecue mixture. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Pineapple Speared Franks

1 lb (8 to 10) frankfurters
Mustard, catsup
8 to 10 canned pineapple spears
8 to 10 slices bacon

Slit frankfurters lengthwise; spread cut surfaces lightly with mustard, then catsup. Insert pineapple spears. Wrap slice of bacon around each frank; secure with toothpicks. Place cut side down on broiler rack, broil 6 inches from heat 7 to 8 minutes or until bacon is done on one side. Turn; broil 6 to 7 minutes. Remove toothpicks. Serve in warm buns, if desired. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Franks Florentine

1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
1 11 oz. can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1 T. minced onion
¼ c. milk
½ pound (4 to 5) frankfurters, halved crossways

Sprad spinach in bottom of 10x6x1 ½ inch baking dish. Combine rice, soup, onion, and milk; spoon over spinach. Score half franks with an X-shaped cut; arrange on casserole, pressing into rice. Bake in moderate oven (375⁰) 20 to 25 minutes or till heated through. Makes 4 servings.

Wiener Wrap-ups

8 to 10 large cabbage leaves
1 lb (8 to 10) frankfurters
Prepared mustard
1 c. canned cream-style corn
1 8 oz can (1 cup) tomato sauce
¼ c. chopped onion
½ t. dried basil or 2 t. fresh
¼ teaspoon salt
4 oz. sharp process American cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 1 ¾ oz package corn ships, coarsely crushed (3/4 cup)

Cook cabbage leaves in boiling water only till pliable, about 10 minutes; drain well. Brush one side of each frank with a small amount of mustard, roll in a cabage leave. Arrange in an 11x7x1 ½ inch baking dish. Mix vegetables and seasonings; pour over franks. Cover; bake in moderate oven (350⁰) 35 minutes or till hot. Top with cheese and corn chips. Bake uncovered 5 minutes. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

From America's Favorite Recipes From Better Homes and Gardens, published 1966.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Friday, April 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Can Take The Girl Out Of The Health Department...

I was watching an old 50's western last night and when the hero (trapped in the town jail and valiantly defending himself against a small army with only his trusty Winchester) discovers a trapdoor in the roof and sets a chair up on top of his desk to climb onto so he can escape, the first thought that popped into my head was "OSHA violation!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just When I Thought It Couldn't Possibly Get Worse

My shingles have come back.

Knitting - A "Jumbo Knit" Dress from 1954

From Bernat Handicrafter #41, Jumbo Knits For The Family, published in 1954. Instructions are on my Flickr account.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vintage Advertising - Beverages

Copyright-free, from Dover.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No Post

I spent yesterday and today working, and this evening doing my neighbors' taxes. I plead brain-deadedness.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Halfway Between A Rock And A Hard Place

The spousal unit dropped the lid to the cold frame on himself this evening, shattering the glass over his noggin.

I guess it’s a good thing he’s Scotch-Irish.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crochet - "Dolls of the Americas"

Not from my collection but rather from those lovely people at Purple Kitty, a vintage crochet doll's costume book from Coats & Clarks, circa 1952. The patterns are free (but if you're feeling particularly flush you can buy the digitally restored e-book).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Stand By For Heavy Seas While Coming About

Thing Two was in Thing One’s cubicle. They were discussing a project I just gave Thing Two with a short turn-around time.

Thing Two: I wonder what would happen if I missed one of her deadlines.

Thing One: Go ahead. Live dangerously.

Vintage Images - Victorian Animal Etchings

Copyright-free, from Dover Publications.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Hostess With The Mostest

I returned from the Mennonite thrift shop with (among other things*) a 1970 copy of Betty Crocker’s Dinner Parties, a lovely nostalgic wallow in the days when entertaining guests called for the kind of advance logistical planning normally associated with invasions. Here is a fairly simple one, targeting the busy homemaker or working wife who needed to feed guests with a minimal amount of cooking. Note that they even provide a timeline and a market list. The cookbook authors call it “Deli Dinner in Disguise.”


Barbecued Deli Chicken
Hot Spiced Fruit ‘n Melon
Onion Rolls
Garden Patch Coleslaw
Wine with Cheese and Crackers
Demitasse with Chocolate Mints.

Market List:

1 can (17 oz) fruit for salad
1 jar (10 oz) watermelon pickles
1 bottle dessert wine
Instant espresso
Onion rolls
4 oz each Gourmandise and blue cheese
8 oz round Gouda cheese
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen peas
Chocolate mints
2 ready to serve barbecued chickens
1 pt coleslaw


20 minutes before serving:
Place chicken in oven
Set table
Arrange cheese tray

10 minutes before:
Slice and wrap rolls, heat
Prepare Hot Spiced Fruit ‘n Melon
Make Garden Patch Coleslaw

Garden Patch Coleslaw

1 package frozen green peas
2 T bottled Italian salad dressing
1 pint coleslaw (from delicatessen)

Place frozen peas in colander or sieve; run cold water over peas just until thawed, about ½ minute. Drain peas; place in bowl. Drizzle salad dressing over peas and toss until coated. Place coleslaw in serving dish, making a large indentation in center. Pour peas in center of coleslaw. 4 servings.

Hot Spiced Fruit ‘N Melon

1 can fruits for salad
1 jar watermelon pickles
¼ t. allspice

Combine fruits for salad (with syrup), pickles (with syrup) and allspice in saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Serve hot. 4 servings.

(*a wonderfully kitschy pottery planter, a Gunne Sax jacket, and a 1954 paperback western with a cheesy cover that’s going to wind up on this blog, too).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Would You Like A Little Cheese With That?

As I am waiting for the elevator, our director walks past. He has spent the day at the state capitol and looks frazzled.

Me: Hello, Milt*! How was Springfield?

He: Full of whiny people.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Quote of the Day

I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more -the feeling that I could last forever, outlast the sea, the earth and all men. ~ Joseph Conrad