Friday, February 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

Never play cards with a man called Doc.  Never eat a a place called Mom's.  Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own. ~ Nelson Algren.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Year of the Sheep

Xinnian hao!  This cute little pattern showed up on Craftpassion rather serendipitously yesterday. A good way to get rid of some of the socks the dryer didn't eat.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

You Might Be From The Midwest If

It's 36F, and you and the parking attendant are congratulating each other on what a nice warm day it is.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Tad Slow On The Uptake

It's been snowing since 10am, but Reserve Cat is convinced that if he just nags me long enough I will open the door and all that wet white stuff will have magically disappeared.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Just Guessing, Mind You

We've already lost cable -- I don't think our Internet connection will stay up much longer.  Even money there won't be school tomorrow.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Things That Go "Boom"

The following email exchange occurs after I get a request asking me to act as an exercise controller for an active shooter drill on campus that will involve the county sheriff and three police departments. I forward it to Sean*.

Me:  I suppose you'd like to come along...they're going to blow the hell out of the old dorms on Main Street. 

He:  Helllllll Yes.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Location, Location, Location

In the management staff meeting one of the topics of discussion is finding a new place for the breast-feeding room, which is currently in a space we need for files storage. We occupy the bottom three floors of our building and space is at a premium.  A number of places are reviewed and rejected when suddenly --

Immunization Division Manager:  I know; that little room down in the STD clinic where you store all the condoms.

Acting Head of Communicable Disease Division:  That would work, if we rearranged some of the shelves.

Assistant Administrator:  So, we'll put the new breast-feeding room in the condom room then?

Me (giggling madly):  Oh, the irony.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Monday, January 12, 2015

Vintage Advertising - Old Dutch Cleanser

From Good Housekeeping magazine, August 1919.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stretching Exercises

An uninvited guest is worse than a Turk. ~ Bulgarian proverb.*

My mother was an excellent cook, although her culinary efforts when I was growing up were mostly focused on feeding nine people on an assistant professor's salary.  She was pretty good at making things go just a little bit further when, as often happened, there were a few extra mouths waiting at the dinner table.

(It may have been the pool table my dad kept in the living room, or it may have been my four sports-mad brothers, but our home was a magnet for kids of all ages. When I was in college, I once conned a friend into baby-sitting for me on a weekend when my parents had left me in charge.  I returned to a full house and a dazed-looking pal who asked me, "How many brothers and sisters do you have, exactly?")

This is one of my mother's more elastic dishes, recreated from memory, and it's also very good.

Keilbasa and Lentils

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 or 2 sticks celery, with leaves, chopped
1 or 2 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 bay leaf
1 package of keilbasa, sliced very thin so there's enough to go around
2 cups lentils, washed and picked over
1 can of diced tomatoes 
6 cups of water
Salt to taste

Heat the oil and saute together the onion, celery and carrot until they begin to be fragrant.  The celery and carrot are optional but add a nice flavor.  Add the garlic, bay leaves, keilbasa, lentils, tomatoes and water.  DO NOT ADD SALT YET.

Bring to a boil, turn it to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes or so.  Check it after half an hour and add another cup of water if need be.  You want to keep the water just above the lentils.

When the lentils are tender, remove the bay leaf, add salt to taste, and serve with bread and butter, a big pot of rice, and some kind of green vegetable.  This will serve six amply.

If Turks or a bunch of hockey players show up, add another cup of lentils, another can of tomatoes, and two more cups of water.  Make a bigger pot of rice.

*I imagine the Turks have a similar saying about the Bulgars.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Monday, January 5, 2015

Sucker Bet

Even money says there's no school tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Recipe For Disaster


1 long snowy afternoon


1 large yellow cat

Mix with:

1 knitting project


8 balls Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush (@ $8.25/ skein)

(Optional: 1 $80.00 vet visit).

(Kitty pic from Pepere le Chat)

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winter Housekeeping

"There are various ways of keeping eggs; all of those given below are good.

Greased Eggs.  -- Warm some fat of almost any kind, put the eggs in; cover them quite, take them out and lay them in an old tin or earthen vessel; paste them up, or better, cement with the tin, as named elsewhere, and they will be found good all winter.

Eggs in Lime. -- Pour 2 gallons hot water of 1 pint lime, and 1/2 pint salt; when cold put some eggs in a jar, and pour it over them; be sure there are no cracked ones. - R.H.

Keeping Eggs. -- Having tried many ways of preserving eggs, I have found the following to be th easiest, cheapest, surest, and best.  Take your crock, keg, or barrel, according to the quantity you have, cover the bottom with half an inch salt, and set your eggs close together on the small end; be very particular to put the small end down; for it put in any other position, they will not keep as well, and the yelk will adhere to the shell; sprinkle them over with salt, so as to fill the interstices, and then put in another layer of eggs, and cover with salt, and so on, till your vessel is filled.  Cover it tight, and put it where it will not freeze, and the eggs will keep perfectly fresh and good any desirable length of time."

What I know; or, Hints on the daily duties of a housekeeper, comprising nearly five hundred receipts, for cooking, preserving, pickling, washing, ironing, gardening, plain and fancy needlework, putting up of winter stores, and numerous other receipts, useful and needful in every well-regulated household, by Elizabeth Nicholson, 1856.  Three hints on coping with the refusal of hens to lay eggs in winter in the days before electric lights.

Saturday, December 27, 2014