Monthly Archives: June 2013

Secondary Character Saturday: Amy Farrah Fowler

[Image courtesy:]

[Image courtesy:]

WHO: Amy Farrah Fowler

FROM: The Big Bang Theory

List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 1)

BY: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady,  and Steven Molaro

DEBUT: Amy’s character debuted in The Lunar Excitation episode on 24 May 2010. She became a regular the following season.

PROS: Smart, caring, enthusiastic, loyal, kind, patient.

CONS: Socially AWKWARD, low-self esteem, clueless.

MOST SHINING MOMENT:  My favorite Amy moment was when she stood up for herself and her profession in The Vacation Solution. Sheldon, her “boyfriend” has been ordered by the university to take a vacation, he decides on a stay-cations, opting to work along side one of his colleges instead. He quickly wares out his welcome at Leonard, Raj and Howard’s labs and turns to Amy’s Biology lab. At first she is thrilled to have him working with her, thinking it will be romantic, but Sheldon’s arrogance soon has her second guessing that assumption. Here’s an exchange that takes pace after she’s given him a simple task to perform…

Sheldon: (Carrying a tray of beakers) Here you go! This is now the only lab with glassware washed by a man with two doctorates and a restrainingorder signed by Carl Sagan.

Amy:(Inspects a beaker) Soap spots! Wash ’em again.

Sheldon: You’re being ridiculous! Those are perfectly clean.

Amy:(Picks up a large beaker) Sheldon, this beaker used to contain cerebral spinal fluid from an elephant that died of syphilis. If it’s, in fact, perfectly clean,(holds it out to him) drink from it.

Sheldon:(Long pause, then picks up the tray of beakers again) Biologists are mean.

Besides Sheldon’s mother, Amy is about the only person who can really stand up to him. She takes a lot of his ridiculous behavior, and it is really nice to see her in charge.

SECOND RUNNER UP: Fun With Flags… Amy is game to do just about anything to keep her strange BF happy, including being his sidekick in his YouTube productions of Fun With Flags. Here’s the Bavarian version…

QUOTE: “It’s a TIARA!!!”

WHY I CHOSE HER: I think there’s a little be of Amy Farrah Fowler in all of us, so I’ve got a soft spot for her.


Friday “Fiction” — How to Fold a Towel

I usually reserve Fridays for fiction writing. Armed with a writing prompt provided by WordPress blogger, SidevieW, I’ve spent the past month generating Friday’s fiction based on her theme. Today’s theme “DOING IT RIGHT” has less of fiction feel… Here goes…

Which is the right way?

Which is the right way?

Towel Wars

My mother has ONE way to fold a towel. The right way.

  • Lay the towel on a flat surface
  • fold the width of the towel in thirds
  • then fold it in half length wise
  • and fold in half again.

It makes for a nice compact square of towel-ly goodness.

Mom's method. Start with a flat towel. Four steps later... You've done it "the right way."

Mom’s method. Start with a flat towel. Four steps later… You’ve done it “the right way.”

Martha Steward folds her towels that way. So does Oprah. But, let me be clear… my mom did it first. (Maybe not first in the whole world, but before these two gals became daytime goddesses.)

Necessity being the mother of invention, mom came up with that method so they’d fit nicely into our linen closet. In fact, on laundry day, after the towels had been washed, line dried and folded (properly) and the linen closet reloaded to its towel storage capacity you couldn’t get anything else in there.

My mom must have had an innate sense of towel geometry. Her towel-to-linen closet ratio was absolutely pitch perfect.

The towels were so compactly and precisely placed in that closet that the first person to take a bath was in serious danger or toppling the whole works if they pulled out the top towel too gingerly.

And if the towel had been folded the wrong way, or had been placed in the closet askew… it just would not have worked. They wouldn’t have fit. That’s because there’s a right way of doing something and a wrong way of doing it.

We tried to rebel of course. As we came into our teen years we JUST KNEW that mom’s insistence that we fold the towels “in thirds and in thirds again” was just some 1950’s drivel — like dressing up and fixing your hair to go food shopping.

We tried:

  • folding them in half and then in half again (too wide and too flat).
  • foldeing in half (short side) and rolling. (too long).
  • kind of folding them and stuffing them in (known as the “brother special” — on the rare occasion that he did it at all — (um no.)

No, no. No. NO. Any job worth doing is worth doing right. So you might as well do it right the first time… because mom is only going to make you do it again… the right way.

When my parents downsized from our family home and looked for a condo I don’t think my mom took a folded towel with her on the real estate showings.  But I’m pretty sure she had that inner towel calculator going in her head. A condo without a proper linen closet wasn’t going to pass muster.

Perhaps it is my rebellious nature, my sheer laziness, or the configuration of our towel storage area but I do not use the 3 x 3 folding method mom favored. I fold my towels in half lengthwise, give them a 90 degree turn, fold in half again, then starting at the bound side (not the fold side) roll them tightly.

Crazy, I know, but it works. And, for us it’s just the right way of doing it.

My method. Start with a flat towel. Three steps later... towel nirvana. (OK I'm biased.)

My method. Start with a flat towel. Three steps later… towel nirvana. (OK I’m biased.)

Here’s an alarmingly loud video from “Ask the Decorator” that shows three ways to fold towels.

Father James Keller 6.27.13 Thought of the Day

“Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: ‘It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.” — Fr. James Keller

[Image courtesy:]

[Image courtesy:]

James Keller was born on this day in Oakland, California in 1900. Today is the 113th anniversary of his birth.

The fourth of five children born to James and Margaret Keller, James grew up in an Irish Catholic household. He joined St. Patrick’s Seminar at Menlo Park, California and became interested in the Maryknoll missionaries in 1918.

 He entered Maryknoll and was ordained August 15, 1925. But, instead of going to China, he spent the next 20 years on assignment in the United States recruiting students and raising funds for Maryknoll missions. []

Eventually he began to see that the people who came to his talks “could play a missionary role themselves,” [Ibid] beyond prayer and financial support for the organization.  The group’s goal was ” to motivate men and women in all walks of life to bring Judeo-Christian principles to bear on the world around them. ” [Ibid]

[Image courtesy:]

[Image courtesy:]

It was loosely organized with “no formal organization, no memberships, no dues. ‘The reason for this somewhat unusual formula.'” This grass roots group choose a Chinise proverb for their motto “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”  [Ibid]

Keller emphasized that each person has a God-given mission, that each person can make a difference, and that constructive action can work miracles.

Newsletters, books, news paper columns, radio and television programs followed. Here’s Hope In Action, a meditation that he wrote:

Hope in Action

Hope looks for the good in people instead of harping on the worst.

Hope opens doors where despair closes them.

Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot.

Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God and the basic goodness of mankind.

Hope “lights a candle” instead of “cursing the darkness.”

Hope regards problems, small or large, as opportunities.

Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.

Hope sets big goals and is not frustrated by repeated difficulties or setbacks.

Hope pushes ahead when it would be easy to quit.

Hope puts up with modest gains, realizing that “the longest journey starts with one step.”

Hope accepts misunderstandings as the price for serving the greater good of others.

Hope is a good loser because it has the divine assurance of final victory.

“In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)

                            James Keller

Fr. Keller died on February 7, 1977.

Farm Fresh Challenge: Kohlrabi Coleslaw and Polenta Lasagna

Greetings fresh food lovers. We had another amazing box from Calvert’s Gift Farm CSA this week, and farmer Jack, who knows I love Kohlrabi, surprised me with a special gift of the sputnik shaped veggie in my box! Thanks Jack!

Here’s a shot of what I’ll be working with for the Farm Fresh Challenge. (We had more in the box but this is what I chose to use last night.)

Yellow squash, Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion, Sage, Garlic. (Not shown: Mint)

Yellow squash, Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion, Sage, Garlic. (Not shown: Mint)

I decided to make a three part challenge today, a drink, side dish and main dish. All part of…

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

[Not associated with the real Chopped, the Food Network or Tim Allen.]

Round One: Cream Mint Tea


1 bunch of Mint leaves, stripped from the stem

1 Red Bush (de-caf) Tea Bag

4 cups Boiling Water

3 cups Almond Milk

3 cups Ice Cubes


1. Heat the water to a boil

2. Brew the Mint Leaves and the Tea Bag for 20 minutes

3. Remove the Tea Bag and Leaves. In batches, place  1/3 of the tea, 1 cup of Almond Milk, and 1 cup of Ice Cubes into a blender and process until smooth. Repeat twice more until the tea is complete.

4. Keep chilled. If Tea flattens, pop it back into the blender for a few seconds to froth it up.

Bubble Tea

Round Two: Kohlrabi Coleslaw


3 medium Kohlrabi

1 bunch of Beets

1 bunch of Spring Onions

1 bunch Radish

1 Fennel Bulb

3 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1/2 lemon

Salt and Pepper



1. Grate  the Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onions, Radish and Fennel (use a large whole grater).

2. In a small bowl mix the Mayonnaise, Olive Oil and the juice of the 1/2 Lemon.

3. Toss the grated vegetables with the Lemony Mayonnaise.

4. Salt and Pepper to taste.

5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is an excellent Crisper buster. I not only used the super fresh ingredients from the box (Kohlrabi, Beets, Spring Onion) but I used up some ingredients that I hadn’t had a chance to use from last week (Fennel, Radish). If I had celery or carrots they would have made it into the slaw as well. I think some raisins and or nuts would be an excellent add in. 

BONUS to Baltimore readers: The Beets give this a certain RAVENS purple, so its perfect for a picnic if you want to celebrate our Super Bowl Champs… Just sayin’.

A serving of Kohlrabi Coleslaw goodness.

A serving of Kohlrabi Coleslaw goodness.

Round Three: Polenta Lasagna


1 pre-cooked Polenta “sausage” (my market has this with the rolls in front of the deli counter. It is not refrigerated.)


Cooking Spray

1/4 cup of fresh Sage Leaves

1 whole Garlic

1 bunch of spring Onion

4 medium Yellow Squash

4 slices of Provolone Cheese

Grated Italian Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste



1. Pre-Heat Foreman Grill to 350 degrees. (You could also use a frying pan)

2. Cut up the Polenta into  1/3″ slices (Warning the Polenta is packed in water…which tends to squirt out when you pierce the plastic wrap.) (Ideally you’ll want to get 15 slices out of the slices — think slice and bake cookies)

3. Spray the surface of the Grill (or pan) and heat the Polenta slices for 5 minutes.

4. Separate the Garlic into cloves.

5. Cut up the Onion and Squash into same size slices.

6. When Polenta is finished cooking remove from grill and set aside. Place the Garlic, Onion and Squash on the grill and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Spray a square glass pan (like a cake pan) and arrange the Polenta. Top with Sage Leaves.
You should be able to fit two row of three slices and a third row of half slices. Put the rest of the Polenta to the side.

8. When the Garlic, Onion and Squash is cooked arrange it in a layer over the Polenta. Top with slices of Provolone.

9. Add a second layer of Polenta. Add extra Sage Leaves, Salt and Pepper and grated Italian Cheese.

Polenta Lasagna

Polenta Lasagna

10. Keep in refrigerator until a few minutes before plating then pop in the Microwave for a few minutes to reheat.

Since you can make this ahead of time it makes for a nice Summer dish. The Polenta Lasagna feeds 3 or 4 adults.

Polenta dinner

Carly Simon 6.25.13 Thought of the Day

The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It B...

The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carly Elisabeth Simon was born on this day in New York City, New York, USA in 1945 She is 68 years old.

She was born into a musical family. Her father played piano (and was a co-founder of Simon and Schuster publishing house), her mom, Andrea, was a singer and civil rights activist. The family sang together in what Carly calls “the family choir” when the she and siblings Joanna, Lucy, and Joey were growing up in Riverdale, NY and Stamford, Connecticut.

Lucy & Carly – The Simon Sisters Sing for Children

Lucy & Carly – The Simon Sisters Sing for Children (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She and sister Lucy formed the Simon Sisters and played at Greenwich Village clubs opening for the likes of “Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Dick Cavett and other soon-to-be-famous people.” [] Those late nights and long train rides from the city meant overdue papers and raised eyebrows at Sarah Lawrence College, and Carly dropped out. She moved to the south of France with her boyfriend and pursued her music full-time.

Three albums and a hit (Wynken, Blinken and Nod) later The Simon Sisters collaboration came to an end after Carly had a nervous breakdown (brought on by a wine allergy) and Lucy got married.

She was signed by Elektra Records in 1970 and released her first, self titled album in 1971. The record featured her hit “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be.”

Simon says making her second album, Anticipation, “was one of the best memories I shall ever have of recording. I had a band. The entire album was just that band… there were strings on a few songs, but on the whole it was sparse and I loved it.” [Ibid]

Twenty-four albums and  nine compilations followed. Simon won three Grammy Awards — in 1972 for Best New Artist; 1990 for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture for “Let the River Run” (Working Girl); and in 2004  when “You’re So Vain” was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame. “Let the River Run” also won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award, making it the first song to win the Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe trifecta. Simon was inducted to the songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.

Here’s a smattering of Carly Simon’s best…

And my personal favorite…

Muffin Monday: Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

Happy Muffin Monday everybody! Today I’m blogging from a tiny little table at Panera Bread because my internet is still down. The bad news is our cable provider wont have any one out to look at the downed line until tomorrow (two plus days with out CABLE –oh the first world problems I have to deal with!) The good news is the merciful Maggie has let me borrow her laptop so I’m not attempting this blog post on my iPad with it wonky navigation and lack of arrow keys. (I love my iPad, but common fellas…) Enough pathetic grumbling. Lets talk muffins…

baked muffin

baked muffin

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins


1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1-1/2 cups Cornmeal, Fine Grind

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1 Tb Baking Powder

1 cup Blueberries



1/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1/2 cup Almond Milk

Almond MIlk

Almond MIlk

1/2 Cup Dermara Sugar

2 large Eggs, room temperature


Preheat oven to 400F. Prep 12 muffin cups by spraying with baking spray.

In a large bowl combine the whole wheat flour, the cornmeal, salt, baking powder and stir.

Into another bowl gently mash the blue berries add the oil, almond milk and honey. add the eggs one at a time. Stir with a fork until smooth.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir gently until all is wet.



Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes, or until one tests done with a toothpick.

Makes 12 muffins.

Photo on 6-24-13 at 12.47 PM #2

The cornmeal gave these muffins a denser, hardier vibe. The blueberry and sugar made them just sweet enough.

The Shivering Timbers

Reblogging this from the wonderful Kate Shrewsday… if you like history, the Navy, or the War of 1812 this one is right up your alley.

Kate Shrewsday

Can objects carry a shadow of their history with them?

I remember looking through the glass of a cas which contained a book owned and read by Catherine of Aragon. She had thumbed it, turned the pages, thought on it, mused over it. At a time when books were incredibly expensive, she, a woman of rank and privilege, had made it part of her everyday life.

So, I asked it silently, do you remember her?

Of course not. Surely that would be impossible. Scientists would snort with derision at the very idea.

But it was there. With her.

I am hatching plans to travel to a little village in Hampshire which sits on the River Meon as it flows enchanting for 21 miles through the Meon Valley. Because there, inanimate wood has retired after the most astonishing of pasts.

I speak of timber. Wooden beams, the humblest of materials, which…

View original post 507 more words

Joss Whedon 6.23.13 Though of the Day

“Passion, it lies in all of us.”

“I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.”

Joseph Hill “Joss” Whedon was born on this day in New York, New York, USA in 1964. He is 49 years old.

He is the middle son of  Tom and Lee  Whedon. He  has two older brothers, Sam and Matthew, and two younger  brothers , Jed and Zach. Joss, Jed and Zach  followed  their father and grandfather (John) and became screenwriters.   Joss went to Riverdale Country School before attending Winchester College and graduating from Wesleyan University in 1987.

In less than a decade Whedon had written and sold his first major network show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel, a spin off followed in 1999.

The delightful, sarcastic and original space western, Firefly, was next. the Fox network cancelled the show  before the end of the first season, but fan support eventually resulted in the movie, Serenity.

He co wrote Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog during the writer’s strike of 2007/2008. He self financed the project and even co wrote the music with his brother Jed.

His current project is a modernized version of Much Ado About Nothing.


Alas we are cable limited for the next couple of days. I’ve had to do this on my iPad, and I’ve learned that is not the way to go.

Secondary Character Saturday: Peeta Mellark

Josh Hutcherson played Peeta in the movie version of the Hunger Games [Image Courtesy:]

Josh Hutcherson played Peeta in the movie version of the Hunger Games [Image Courtesy:]

WHO: Peeta Mallark

FROM: The Hunger Games

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

BY: Suzanne Collins


PROS: Kind, compassionate, romantic, creative, artistic, loyal, humble, physically strong (he can wrestle and throw a sack of flour). Long before he and Katniss take the train to the Capital his selfless act of  giving her bread saves her from starvation. That act of kindness meant a beating for him, but salvation for Katniss and her family. And he did it with out any anticipation of a return favor on Katniss’s part. That kindness for kindness sake speaks volumes to Peeta’s personality.

CONS: He’s not tough enough for the Hunger Games. He hasn’t been training his whole life for it — either in the woods near District 12 or in the gyms of District 1, 2, or 3. His compassion and lack of survival skills might just get him killed in the arena.

ID Card from the Hunger Games movie [Image couresy:]

ID Card from the Hunger Games movie [Image couresy:]

MOST SHINING MOMENT: Peeta is a stand up guy in the toughest of situations. He never expects to win the Hunger Games — his own MOTHER lets him know that SHE doesn’t expect him to win — but that doesn’t mean he has to lose. He defines the parameters of what a personal victory means when he tells Katniss that he all he wants o do is die with honor.

“…He doesn’t just want to be a pawn in the Capitol’s game. He wants to “die as himself” (10.70). For Peeta, it is important that the Capitol knows that they don’t own him.” []

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: I get that Peeta is gob smack in love with Katniss, but I think his outing that love on live television with every one in the Twelve Districts and the Capital watching was bad form. It puts way too much pressure on Katniss and it just isn’t fair. I think his declaration was honest, but it was manipulative in retrospect. (Even if that wasn’t his intent.)

WHY I CHOOSE HIM: I choose Peeta because he’s the underdog of the story and I found myself pulling for him throughout. He’s the moral backbone of the story too. I loved Katniss’s strength and chutzpah (and creativeness, and self doubt and family loyalty) but there’s a tenderness to Peeta that just drew me in.

Katniss & Peeta - Vancouver Fan Expo 2012

Katniss & Peeta – Vancouver Fan Expo 2012 (Photo credit: Laríssa)


Thus far I’ve only read The Hunger Games…but I’m working on Catching Fire and plan to read the rest of the series. Kindly refrain from spoilers. IF Peeta turns out to be a jerk in Mocking Jay please let me find out on my own, OK? OTHER COMMENTS and discussions are most welcome welcome.

More on the names in The Hunger Games... Well, they are strange, that’s for sure. If you’d like to “find out” what YOUR Hunger Games name is you can click HERE and follow the recipe / algorithm.
(I’d be Eless P Danceelm in District 12 btw.)

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