STEM Tuesday: The Stuff of SPAM

Loved-One calls SPAM “mystery meat.”

“It’s not a mystery,” I tell him.  “It’s pretty much just pork.  It’s probably simpler than most of the food you eat.”


Hormel offers 18 different varieties of SPAM:

SPAM is incredibly popular in Hawaii.

Maybe it’s because of the indefinite shelf-life (although Hormel says the flavor may start to change after the third year.) Maybe it’s because it takes up so little space in the pantry and requires no refrigeration until opened.  Maybe it’s because one little can contains six servings, which makes it about 50¢ a serving.  Maybe it’s because Continue reading

Gratitude Monday: Potpourri

Last week I got a little fatigued, a little overwhelmed, and little teary-eyed, and quite a bit forgetful.  Probably the first two, led to the second two, which propelled me to self-chastisement.  I should nap, but often when I do, I have a hard time getting to sleep at night.  I should go to bed earlier; I should be more organized; I should keep a list; I should be more thoughtful; I should have a better sense of time….

 Do you ever do that?

So first on my gratitude list is:

♥  I can give myself permission.  Sometimes things don’t go as I wish and it’s my fault.  It’s okay. Today is another day. Thank you very much.

♥  An active mind and a full plate. I love doing and being and thinking. Sometimes stuff falls off my plate.  Yeah.  So, next time, not so full, so fast.

♥  Helpful friends.  Geri is so enthusiastic about my book.  She lifts me up and helps me forge ahead.  Thank you Geri. So glad I overbooked my Saturday, so I ended up running into you Sunday.  If it hadn’t been for that mistake, I would have missed you.  Lucky me.

♥  hummingbirds: Flitting around my flowers, busy, busy, busy. Still, stopping to sip the nectar of Life.  Good lesson, feathered friend.

♥  Blue-tooth technology. Thanks to my hands-off Jawbone, I got in a nice visit with my sister, Vickie, on an hour-long drive.

♥  Bridal showers. Naive love’s anticipation, ready to face the world together with a trunk full of kitchen ware and tp bridal gown - 1bathroom furnishings.  Remembering that excitement fills me with joy.  (That’s my team’s winning bridal-dress-made-out-of-toilet paper.)

♥  Public transportation. Oh I love Metra.  No traffic.  Always on time. Always predictable.

♥  Kinky Boots and Frontera Grill with Love-One . Good food. Good music. Wonderful company.  Who could ask for more.

♥  A flute partner. Oh Kris, you push me beyond what I thought I could do.  You are so good for me.

♥  Fresh basil. The smell of basil in the garden seems to open my heart and my ears to everything around me.  Have you ever responded to a smell or taste like that?

♥ Chicago Writes Conference.  I’m going this Thursday through Saturday.  Another chapter of my book get critiqued.  The conference is chock full of great workshops.  I hope I can take Metra.

♥  A chance to sleep in. I’m filled with energy today.  Ready to go again.  Much more organized and on top of things. Much happier.

♥  Bridal showers. Naive love’s anticipation, ready to face the world together with a trunk full of kitchen ware and bathroom furnishings.  Remembering that excitement fills me with joy.

♥  Chip at the top of my arbor. “Hey, Dale, where are you?”  I saw this rascal from my dining room window yesterday morning. Silliness is the funnest thing on earth.  Dontcha think?

chip n dale - 1

Would you like to see more gratitude lists?  Join Laurel at Alphabet Salad every Monday for her link-up.  It’s a great way to start the week. Just click here.

Photo Friday: Bee-utiful

I really like snapping photos of insects.  I have a hard time getting honeybees to stay still long enough to get a good shot.  This neighbor’s Bee Balm had the honeybees completely intoxicated, and at the same time, industrious to a fault. I took all the photos with my iPhone5. I love how the details of the flowers and even the hairs on the bees show up in these pictures.

bee-utiful - 3

With “Noir” filter

bee-utiful - 4 bee-utiful - 1

The bubble bees are so laid-back and gentle that I can easily pet them.  They love my Catmint in the front yard.  Here’s one from the same neighbors Echinacea.

bee-utiful - 2What’s in your lens this week?  I’d love to take a peek.  Please link-up below by clicking on the frog.

Come Meet Author Vikki Claflin

VikkiC“The naked happy dance is more effective than medication for most of what ails us!” according to Vikki Claflin.

Why, her name even sounds like laughter.

I got a chance to sit down and chat with Vikki last week, and I’m still giggling. I want to know more about how she wrote her book Shake Rattle & Roll With It.

Vikki has an eye for detail that, surely, she got at birth, if not that, Continue reading

Sugata Mitra’s University in the Cloud

It’s STEM Tuesday. The brain is an amazing thing.   Water, neurons, and fat. About 60% fat.  There are about 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain and no pain receptors.  Light never reaches the brain, yet we perceive light and dark. We think, we learn, we emote, we remember, all because of that three-pound organ.

I saw this Ted Talk a couple of years ago. It’ll take you about 20 minutes.  Hang in there for the first 8:08 minutes. I think Sugata Mitra and his studies will blow you away.

Continue reading

Gratitude Monday: In the Wake of a Storm

A tornado touched down in the county where I live.  Nobody hurt. The winds and rain knocked down one of our trees. tree down - 1 Again, nobody hurt. Even most of the flowers sprang back to life, perhaps stretching in the sun after years in the shade.  I swear one of my garden flocks bloomed while Loved-One and I cleaned up the mess.

Of course, top on my list is:  Nobody hurt.  And in no particular order some other things for which I give thanks:

♥ My editor, Lisa Romeo.  You are just the right blend of gentle, clear, and firm.  Just the kind of editor I need.

😉 Wheelbarrows.  I filled one with sticks from all over other parts of the yard.  Who Continue reading

Photo Friday: Salmon Salad

I got some great offer for magazines a while back, so what the heck, I picked out Martha Stewart Living.

 But I gotta say, she makes things that could be easy, a bit difficult.

This week I made this delicious salad:

Martha Stewart - 1

My picture turned out as pretty as the one in the magazine.

She made the directions so difficult.  It took 6 steps with a bunch of back and forth and waaay more utensils than I like to use.  So here’s my easy way.

Soak a cedar grilling plank for at least 1/2 hour

(I get mine at Costco.  Great for grilling fish, and a no-mess cleanup.)

Mix up and set aside the dressing:

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1 T lemon juice

Boil potatoes and eggs:

Cover  1 pound of very small new potatoes with water and bring to a boil

Drop in 4 large eggs

Simmer for 12 minutes


Grill on Medium High heat:

1 pound of salmon on the plank (add a bit of lemon juice, salt and lemon pepper to taste)

1 pound of snow pea pods coated in EVOO (I used a wok-type thing for the grill, but you can do this on the stovetop, too.)

Toss everything together:

Flake up the salmon into bite sized pieces, peel and halve the eggs, halve the potatoes

Add a handful of lettuce, spinach, watercress, or whatever green thing you like.

Enjoy! Take a picture and include it in the comments below.


What’s in your lens this week?  I’d love to take a peek. Please click on the frog below and share.