Sunday, May 31, 2009

postcard cookery

I recently found a Grand Rapids, Minnesota postcard in an antique store, and I think it's from the 1970's. When I flipped it over, I discovered it didn't have your typical 'Having a good time, wish you were here' thing written on the back. Rather, somebody used it as a recipe card! (Maybe the fish on the front made the person hungry...)

Anyway, a "pizza hot dish" recipe from a North Dakota newspaper was scribbled on the back:

So I figured, what the heck, I'll make it for dinner tonight! Garbage Puff put on his cute little red bib, picked up his little red fork, and pronounced it "pretty darn tasty".

Here's the unscribbled version if you want to try it. (I used low fat options whenever I could.)

Pizza Hot Dish

1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 tsp oregano, 1 onion, salt, pepper, garlic
2 - 10 oz. cans pizza sauce
1 - 8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese
6 oz. noodles
1 cup sliced pepperoni

Cook and drain noodles.
Brown beef & onion; drain fat.
Add seasoning, pizza & tomato sauces.
Simmer 15 minutes.
Add cheese, pepperoni, milk & noodles.
Top with pepperoni and cheese.
Bake in 9X13 pan at 350 degrees for 1 hr.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

new route and new 'friends'

I decided to try out a new bike route this weekend (new to me anyway). I was a little wary of my choice after I encountered this sign early on:

I usually consider the expression "Prepare to meet thy God" as a warning of impending doom.

But the bike ride turned out just fine. The route wound around a semi-rural area, and I visited with some nice horses...

...and a very friendly cow I've named Norman (as a tip o' the hat to the movie City Slickers):

There is a certain resemblance:

Friday, May 29, 2009

hint for family cleverly hidden in blog

I'm jazzed! The first season of thirtysomething is going to be released August 25th! (I don't watch a whole lot of tv, but that was one of my all time favorite series.) It's 5 days after my birthday, yet I think this DVD box set would still make a fine birthday gift.

(The second season will be released in February 2010, conveniently in time for Valentine's Day.)

Friday Five: The Big To Do

Kathrynzj writes, "It seems like every year I enter into the summer with a growing list of HUGE projects/events/trips that seem to have a permanent place on the 'to do' list." And that inspired the questions for this week's F5:

1. What home fix-it project is on your Big To-Do?
We really need to paint the inside of our house -- especially the living room/dining room area. (New carpet would be nice too!) But I dread the mess and moving all the furniture. I need Eldon the Painter from Murphy Brown to move in.

2. What event (fun or work) is on your Big To-Do?
Attending the college graduation of Offspring #1 -- which was truly made a Big To-Do by her receiving a Presidential Scholar Award! Only seven graduates in Western Washington University's class of '09 are given this award "for their exceptional scholarship and service to the university and community". Here she is eating a celebratory cupcake. (OK, actually this picture was taken Spring Break '08 in NYC!)

Anyway, I'll be bloggin' more about this one later (the graduation, not the cupcake)! ;)

3. What trip is on your Big To-Do?
France. We have yet to make good on our promise to Offsprings #1&2 to vacation there! Our next goal (and I think we can make this one!) is summer 2010.

4. What do you wish was on someone ELSE's (partner, family member, celebrity, etc...) Big To-Do?
One major item on the world's to-do list should be getting a handle on global warming.

5. Getting inspired? What may end this summer having moved from the Big To-Do to the Big Ta-da?
The only one that will get done for sure is item #2!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

and the winner is...

...David (photoshopped below with victory crown and prize mug)!

Although mompriest had some excellent points, I'm going to go with David for making the best sense of the nonsensical for me.

I think Lorette was definitely on to something with her comment: "they're off their meds". (Since she's a physician practicing in the hospital setting, Lorette is in a good position to forward that theory!)

Dust Bunny entered late with a shameless, somewhat desperate attempt to win the mug. Sorry, DB, you needed to actually put forth an explanation to be in the running. :)

Congratulations, David, the mug will be mailed!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ooh, ooh, it's a contest!

About two years ago I saw and blogged about a car sporting a "billboard-style" bumper sticker with this theological message: "Jesus abhors all faith for it seems good but is lies that damn you to death in hell." (Hmm... ok, that's a head scratcher.)

Then last week Hubby and I drove up to Olympia to attend a dinner and continuing education class and spotted this new billboard-on-wheels:

What the frick?! This is even weirder than the other one (and that was hard to do).

I decided a prize will be awarded to the person who best explains the meaning of this new cryptic theo-message to me. (Or takes the best whack at it.)

What prize, you ask? Why, it's an excitin' Views from the Road mug!

But don't let that discourage you from entering! :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

the weekend in pictures

The picnic!

The throw!

The catch!

The theatre!

The park!

The other park!

(Yes, even Mr. Tumnus got out to play!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

you know you're old when... remember when it was not only acceptable but downright cool to feed the bears from your car in national parks.

I recently found this old postcard at an antique store near McMinnville, Oregon. The card had no writing on the back. My theory is that the person who purchased it was eaten by a bear before he or she could write and send it.

Whatever you're doing and wherever you are, hope you are having a good holiday weekend. Hubby and I are visiting Offsprings #1&2. Yay! (More about that in a later post...)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Five: Vacations

Mary Beth is thinking about vacations, and she presents this week's Friday Five:

1) What did your family do for vacations when you were a child? Or did you have stay-cations at home?

My family owned the drug store in a small town in North Dakota, and we always got away for a vacation in the summer. I remember going to NYC, Disneyland, Colorado, Canada, etc. This picture of my family was taken at the "La Ronde" revolving restaurant in Hawaii sometime during the 60's.

2) Tell us about your favorite vacation ever.

Hmm... I'd say just about any vacation I've ever taken with Offsprings #1&2! They are really fun travel partners. But if I had to pick one, I'd say the trip with them to Europe in 2000:

3) What do you do for a one-day or afternoon there a place nearby that you escape to on a Saturday afternoon/other day off?

The town in which I currently live isn't all that snazzy, but it's got a great geographical location. For a one day getaway, we can head to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast, Multnomah Falls, Mt St Helens, or just bop around in Portland.

4) What's your best recommendation for a full-on vacation near you...what would you suggest to someone coming to your area? (Near - may be defined any way you wish!)

You can't go wrong with Cannon Beach.

5) What's your DREAM VACATION?

I think the longest vacation I've ever taken was 3 weeks (and they are usually more like a week or two)... so I guess my dream vacation would be one that would last a solid month. It would involve a really, really nice hotel or vacation villa (which would allow pets so we could bring along Mr. Tumnus). The vacation spot could be almost anywhere as long as it was scenic and had fun things to do in the area.

Bonus: Any particularly awful vacation stories that you just have to tell? ("We'll laugh about this later..." maybe that time is now!)

Well, it's later and I'm still not laughing about this one: My family (hubby, kids, mom, and me) went to Cancun the summer of 2004, and my mom had a stroke there. We had a difficult, stressful time trying to get back to the U.S. for proper medical care. (It thankfully turned out to be a mild stroke.)

googled the CB photo

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

more signs of the divine?

Dan and Sara Bell of Texas recently found what they think is the likeness of a praying Jesus inside a bag of Cheetos. Their Holy Puff (nicknamed "Cheesus") is about two inches tall and has a body, hair, robe and even a tiny face -- but, sadly, the right arm is missing.

Hmmm... that makes me question their assumption of divinity. I mean, couldn't "Cheesus" have fixed/healed his right arm?

I think the cheeto isn't a likeness of Jesus, but rather a likeness of the old country man on the Led Zeppelin IV album.

Cheesus picture and full story from here.
Googled the Led Zeppelin album cover.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pack Your Bags: We're Going on a Guilt Trip!

Some of you have expressed interest in my old postcards (or at least humored me), so for now I plan to post one postcard every week or so...

This postcard with a scene of Hellgate Canyon at Missoula, Montana has a postmark of November 1910. It was written and sent from Loveland, Colorado (where I used to live!) and mailed to Portland, Oregon (close to where I now live!)

Of course I don't know who R.E.B. (the author) was, but it looks to me as if she (or he) was trying to make poor Mrs. Frankie Cleek feel guilty:

Am still looking for that promised letter. Saw yours and Leonard's pictures at home last wk, and are much pleased with Frankie, hubby and house. Have a more distinct one taken and send us, but we are glad to get this one, as we're thankful for small favors -- Ever, R.E.B.

I wonder what Mrs. Frankie Cleek thought when she read this postcard. Did she succumb to the guilt trip and sit right down to write a letter and have that more "distinct" picture taken?

I'd like to think that Frankie was one of those unflappable, laid back people -- in which case the guilt trip didn't really work, and any letter or picture she sent to R.E.B. was done when she felt like getting around to it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

at the *gasp!* UFO festival...

That's right! I went to a UFO festival in McMinnville, Oregon this weekend! Hubby has been interested in the topic of UFO's for years, and this was the third year he attended. I generally prefer to just make fun of him, but this year I went along.

The festival (billed as an educational experience for both believers and skeptics) features speakers connected with "ufology" and a costume parade down the main street of the city.

I actually had a fun time! (As you can see, Garbage Puff also attended the festival and was interested in perusing some of the literature.) I maintain a healthy skepticism, but agree we are most likely not alone in the universe.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Five: Friends

Jan picks the topic of friends for this week's Friday Five and we are to: write about the different kinds of friends we have, like childhood friends, lost friends, tennis friends, work friends, and the list goes on. List 5 different types of friends you have had in your life and what they were/are like.

Alrighty! Here are my 5 types of friends:

1. Friends who also happen to be family. Over the years this has included my grandmother, my mother, my cousin, and -- in a delightful bonus -- Offsprings #1&2. Of course I am also including Hubby in this category. We met in optometry school over 30 years ago and have been partners (including at work!) ever since. Here's a photo of my family from a 2006 vacation:

2. "Through thick and thin friends". This category is small in number but very big in importance. These are the friends who have been with me through whatever tough stuff life has thrown my way.

3. School and/or Work Friends. These friendships, although more superficial than those in category 2, have added richly to the tapestry of my life (sorry, the Carole King song was running through my mind as I was typing).

4. Animal friends. Ahhh, it all started with Katze, my cat of childhood. Animals make great friends! Here's my "newest" animal friend, Mr. Tumnus (Offspring #2's amazingly cute cat):

5. Cyberfriends. This is, of course, a relatively new category! There are a couple of old school friends (from elementary and high school) I've reconnected with via facebook, and some new friends I've made with blogging.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Did you ever feel like you could really use a good friend? Or at least a decent drink of water?!

M.C.C. felt that same way -- back in August of 1910. She wrote:

Dear Papa - I have written to everyone else and no one seems to answer so I am going to try you. Everything is going fine, but I want a drink of good water awfully bad. Hope mamma is better. With love, M.C.C.

Here's the front and back of the postcard:

Monday, May 11, 2009

mystery solved!

Last week I posted about the upcoming local Bike to Work Week, and the fact that they were going to be handing out goody bags for bike commuters on Monday morning at the hospital (which is fortuitously located on my route to work).

All week I wondered with my keen Nancy Drew mind: Would I actually get a goody bag or would they run out before I got there? What would be in the goody bag? Would there be cool things or would it contain mostly coupons?

So I took my bike to work this morning and stopped by the hospital as planned.

At last! The Secret of the Old Goody Bag has been revealed. It contains:

--a water bottle (plastic--boo! yet recyclable--yay!)
--a bike tire repair kit
--a refrigerator magnet on the ABC's of a healthy life
--a trail map
--a 10% off coupon at Vernie's Pizza

I'll bet Bess and George are green with envy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

a new look at the ol' apostle

OK, by show of hands, how many of you think the apostle Paul is a jerk?

I'll admit that before reading The First Paul (by Marcus Borg and John Crossan), my hand would have been flying pretty high. Because I couldn't help but associate Paul with quotes such as: "Women should be silent in the churches... If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home." ~and~ "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling..."

Borg and Crossan explain why they are able to view Paul in a positive light (even though they don't agree with everything he ever wrote). For one thing, not all of the letters attributed to Paul were actually written by him. Mainstream New Testament scholarship has concluded that of the 13 letters attributed to Paul, only 7 are considered to be "genuine" (written by Paul himself). Later letters were written by others in the early church to "deradicalize" Paul's message of true equality to make it fit Roman social norms regarding patriarchy and slavery. (That's where those quotes I find offensive came from!)

The authors present Paul as a "Jewish Christ mystic" who lived with a deep sense of "one-ness" with God. Putting Paul in the proper historical context, he believed in peace through justice, an alternative to Rome's program of peace through victory (military victory which presumes violence). Quoting from the book: Paul's view of "justice means distributive and not retributive justice (punishment). There will only be peace on earth, Paul claims, when all members of God's world-home receive a fair and equitable share of its bounty, when all members of God's family have enough. Do not confuse, he might have added, peace with lull."

The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon --that's the complete title!-- is an excellent book. Marcus Borg never disappoints me. I highly recommend you pick up a copy (or Kindle it)!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Friday Five: A Bug's Life

Sophia writes (and I'm shortening this a bit):

As I was walking the beach today, I was surprised and delighted to find it swarming with ladybugs... This got me thinking about spiritual insect trivia: Did you know that medieval mystics and theologians esteemed the bee for its dedicated work and transformation of ordinary ingredients into sweetness? That Spider Woman is an important creator Goddess to many Native American tribes?... In that spirit, this week's Friday Five is a magical mystery tour through God's garden of creepy crawlies!

1. Ladybugs or ladybirds? Pillbugs or roly-polys? Jesus bugs or water skeeters? Any other interesting regional or familial name variations?

We generally call bugs by their genus/species names. Instead of saying, "Look at that dinosaur grasshopper!", we say, "Look at that tropidolophus formosus!"

(OK, that was meant to disguise the fact that I've got nuthin' for this first question!)

2. Stomp on spiders, carry them outside, or peacefully co-exist?

I've done all three, but probably my favorite is burial at sea (i.e. flushing them down the toilet)

3. Favorite insect?

It's got to be Atom Ant, cartoon superhero created by Hanna-Barbera way back when! He was fast, strong, and cute!

4. Least favorite?

(To borrow lyrics from Edwin Starr: What are they good for? Absolutely nothin'! Say it again, y'all...)

5. Got any good bug stories to share?

The only thing I can think of was when, as a kid, I was goofy enough to fall for my brother's trick: "Open your mouth and close your eyes and you will get a big surprise". The surprise was a box elder bug!

Bonus question: share a poem, song, quotation, etc. about insects.

Here's The Termite by Ogden Nash:

Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good.
And that is why your cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

postcard post #2!

Here's another old postcard I like. It's the Bird Eye view of Eldred, Minn. I usually think of a bird's-eye view as something being seen from above, but apparently this little bird was on the ground getting a panoramic view of the bustling metropolis of Eldred.

The postmark is January 1909. (That's cool because my grandmother would just have turned 3 years old then!)

Here's J.L.'s note to her brother in Tacoma: (I'm assuming J.L. is female.)

I am in Eldred today. I am well.

Yeah, short and sweet! (What else do you really need?!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

appearances of the divine

A couple of days ago I read a story about how an outline of the Virgin Mary appeared on a food griddle at a restaurant on the California/Mexico border. The faithful and the curious are flocking to see it. (You can read more here.)

As I recall, the Virgin Mary has previously appeared on a grilled cheese sandwich and on a pizza pan.

I must admit that I personally don't really see the Virgin Mary on the griddle (or grilled cheese or pizza pan) without using my imagination to some degree. Not like the appearance of Presbygal in my breakfast this morning. That was straightforward.

Monday, May 4, 2009

anticipating the goody bag

The local newspaper had an article in the Sunday edition entitled: Bike to Work Week gains traction in Cowlitz County. The article details how a small group of local bike commuters organized the campaign to coincide with a national one that happens every May. Our Bike to Work Week will take place next week, and the organizers are hoping to promote exercise, raise awareness of motorists, and show respect for the environment. (Full story here.)

The article encouraged people who want to participate to register on the "Cowlitz on the Move" website. Since I'm bike commuting 2 days a week anyway, I went ahead and registered -- which puts me in line for prizes such as a gift certificate to a sporting goods store. WooHoo!

(As an aside... The people interviewed in the article bike commute between 2 and 4½ miles each way. I googled my route and found I've been doing 5⅓ miles each way, so I felt a little less wussy about only biking to work every other day.)

Another WooHoo is that next Monday from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. they are handing out free coffee, fruit, and (here's the best part!) Goody Bags at the hospital. As luck would have it, I go right by the hospital on my way to work. I usually roll by there around 7:30 a.m. Even though they usually contain junky stuff, I love Goody Bags (I think because they remind me of trick-or-treating as a kid), so you can bet I'll be stopping by!

Stay tuned next week to find out the contents of my Goody Bag...

The picture of the "Marble look-alike" riding a bike is from here.
(But I added on the bag!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

garden '09

Yesterday afternoon Hubby and I planted our little garden. I had gone to the local farmer's market in the morning and picked up some starter plants: tomatoes, cauliflower, peas, potatoes, and onions. Plus we've got rhubarb from last year. Hmm... That's kind of a weird assortment now that I think about it.

In any event, we had a bluebird that was very happy we were working in the garden because we brought up some earthworms for him to eat. (Click to enlarge)

And here's Marble mentally calculating if he has enough time to make it from the side of the house to the garden before the bird flies off:

(Marble decided, "Nah.")

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

(click to enlarge)

On May Day I always think of Stevie O., my next door neighbor when I was growing up in the Dakotas. On May Days during the elementary school years, Stevie and I would leave baskets at each other's houses, ring the doorbell, and run like hell.

Being a tomboy I could usually outrun him. Although neither of us was really interested in actually catching or being caught. We were definitely just in the 'pals' category. We attended school together from kindergarten until my family moved in the middle of my junior year in high school. Along with the other neighborhood kids, we played kick the can and baseball during the summer and went ice skating and sledding during the winter. (Speaking of winter, Stevie was an absolute genius architect of snow forts.)

I've lost track of ol' Stevie over the years. Last I heard he was a Baptist minister -- I'm sure he would be a good one. If he ever surfaces via facebook or something, I think I'd be tempted to leave him a 'virtual' May Day basket! (Although a good hunk of the fun would be gone if you can't run like hell...)

class picture from the '67 Ace yearbook; sketch from here