Monday, October 15, 2012


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This product is right up there with duct tape and super glue in its usefulness in the house and yard.  Oddly enough, I couldn't find a compilation anywhere, of all the useful things you can do with it. So, in the spirit of "Inspiring Serendipity", I've started a list of the way our family uses Velcro® Brand ONEWRAP,  QWIKTIE, and Bundle Tie straps around our house and yard.
Product information for the various types of these straps available are available from the corporate site:
You can purchase these straps at many stores, including Home Depot, Staples, JoAnn Fabrics, and Lowes. Send me a message if you're having trouble locating some, and I'll point you to a few on line sources as well.
I'll add photos, and more ideas, as I can. For those of you on a tighter than tight budget, simply re-use the printed bundle tie wraps from your lettuce and other vegetables - they last quite a while!
Do you have another use of this great product that's not listed?  Add a comment - include a picture, if you can - let's see how far this goes!

#1 - Cable Management -Ethernest cords
#2 - Cord Control - Stereo equipment
#3 - Pant leg control for bicyclers
#4 - Teething ring keeper
#5 - Herb drying tie
#6 - Cat proof cabinet lock
#7 - Christmas tree light storage
#8 - Emergency car repair
#9 -  Securing wires on trailer hitch
#10 - Keep a roll in the car to "tie down things"
#11 - Keep lock pin close by to where it will be needed again
#12 - Cord Control -Travel Electronics
#13 - Drape tie back
#14 - Cord control - Ironing
#15 - Cord control - Desktop electronics
#16 - Camping - suspend a lantern
#17 - Camping - tent pole management
#18 - Bike carriers - help secure bike to rack for less vibration
#18 - Plant management - Tomatoes
#19 - Plant management - Grapes
#20 - lettuce / romaine wrap 
#21 - Biking - attaching grocery bag to bike

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tomato Pie

Fellow foodee Dayle inspired tonight's dinner main course, Tomato Pie.  Her version sounded delectable, and involved mixing some mayonaise and cheese to coat the top of the pie.  I may try that version soon, as the tomatoes are starting to ripen in the garden.  Today, I was in the mood for a slightly more quiche-like version:

Wildwoods Tomato Pie

Start with a large deep dish pizza pan or oversized pie plate, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Make up a pie crust, to your preference.  For my recipe, I mixed in my mixing bowl:
2 cups of flour,
1 teaspoon salt,
1 teaspoon garlic powder,
Once this was mixed, I cut in
1/4 cup of margarine
and finally, mixed in about
1/4 cup of water, until I had a nice dough.
In my deep dish enameled pie pan, I started with a smear of olive oil, then patted the dough onto the pan directly.  I used a small round glass to help roll it out so that the bottom of the pan was uniformly coated with the dough, and some of the dough I hand pressed onto the side edges.
I baked the crust for about 10 minutes, then removed from the oven.
Still hot, I coated the bottom with
pesto sauce, and a
sprinkling of cheese (I used cheddar)
and baked another 5-10 minutes, so that the cheese melted, creating a protective layer for the crust.
To this yummy crust, I stacked up
sliced tomatoes,
fresh spinach,
a few dollops of pesto, and
more cheese.
In a small mixing bowl, I beat
1/2 cup heavy cream, with
4 eggs
.and poured over the whole pie.
Final back took about 1/2 hour.  I let the pie set for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

It's a double win....was an excellent main entree, and there was enough to pack for lunches too!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blueberry Buckle

What's a buckle?

That's what she asked me, after we had been discussing what to do with the bucket of blueberries we were gradually filling.  I realized I could not answer.  All I remembered was that she had made a "buckle" with her 4-H leader a few years back...ok, so now that I think about it....had to be about 10 years ago.  yikes.
So once we got home, I searched through about 10 different cookbooks, coming up with a wide variety of fruit concoctions, including crumbes and crumbles, crunches, puddings, pies, cakes, and even something called a grunt...but not a single recipe described as a "buckle".  The closest I found to what I recalled as the recipe, was from an old church fundraiser cookbook, The Village cookbook, that I had picked up from a yard sale somewhere, from "Ida Prince".  I decided to use her recipe as my base.
Still struggling to recall how I got "buckle" in my vocabulary, it was off to the trusty Internet, where I found that Alton Brown understands me just fine.  His Blueberry Buckle is nearly identical to Ms. Prince's "Blueberry Teacake".
Many thanks to both Ida and Alton for providing the inspiration for today's yummy treat.  We enourage you to do your own investigation to find out "Watts a buckle?".

Watts a buckle?


1/2 cup margarine (cut in half)

3/4 cup sugar (and 1/2 cup for topping)
1 egg
2 cups flour (and 1/4 cup for topping
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon for topping)
1 teaspoon coriander (1/4 teaspoon for topping)

1/2 cup milk
3 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In large mixing bowl combine margarine and sugar. While you have the margarine in your hand, grease your 9x12" pan, then cut the remainder of the stick of margarine into cubes and place in smaller mixing bowl. Measure 1/2 sugar into that smaller bowl. Cream margarine and sugar. Add egg and beat until smooth. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl, adding the smaller quantities to the smaller topping bowl.
Add milk and dry ingredients to mix and beat until smooth.  Remove mixer, fold in blueberries, and spread in your prepared pan.
Small bowl should now contain the cut up margarine, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and coriander.  Use a pastry blender or fork and knife to cut the butter into the dryer ingredients.  Sprinkle the resulting crumbly mix onto the top of your other mix.
Bake for 40 minutes.  Allow buckle to stand and rest for 10 minutes, then cut and serve.
Great warm out of the oven, but also good the next day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Henna tattoos

We discovered the joys of sharing henna tattoos, with the Eastern Naturist Gathering.  As it was our first time offering our henna application to our fellow campers, we soon found ourselves with an excess of leftover henna.  Before too long, we were piping the green goo in  larger designs over entire backs.

I found this art form to be very peaceful, and fun.  It became an excellent icebreaker, and we enjoyed getting to know people a little better as they requested specific icons or designs, some of them strategically placed over scars, either to obscure or commemorate.

My favorite experiment of the weekend was a requested "Green Man". Given plenty of time to "play" with teh design, and apply several layers with a paint brush, the results were very much appreciated:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Zentangle Easter Eggs

Zentangled Easter Eggs.
Krystin and I had a 20 minute holiday moment this morning....I went with various colors and designs, while she tackled a more geometric approach.  Fun!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Garlic and Olive Oil

In our house, the sure fire way to bring folks into the kitchen looking for food and companionship, is to get some aromatics going on the stove.
Perhaps the most efficient at getting the job done is simply olive oil and garlic.  Works like a charm, every time.
This year, I've come to realize that this same dynamic duo can turn a dreaded vegetable into a scrumptious treat.
The first recipe we learned to love was "Cauliflower Steaks", which has evolved into slices of cauliflower, roasted in the oven on our pizza pan, drizzled with olive oil, garlic, salt, and parmesan cheese.
After a little convincing from a friend, last night we tried the same technique with brussel sprouts.  Wow, what a transformation.  We'll be eating those again real soon!
Since our recent health and fitness class recommended vegetables, and suggested cauliflower and brussel sprouts as especially potent in nutrients and phytochemicals, I'm always game for new ways to eat these formerly shunned veggies!