Monday, November 19, 2018

Thankful Music #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and we all know what time it is.

It's time for another episode of Music Moves Me!

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join!  Every other week we have a theme, and on alternate weeks, we can blog about any music we wish.  First, there is XmasDolly,   Her co-conductors are:  Callie of JAmerican Spice,  and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥   Also, co-conducting  is  Cathy from Curious as a Cathy .  And finally, there's me. 

<!-- end LinkyTools script —> Our honorary co-host for November is Stacy of Stacy Uncorked.  Today, as this is Thanksgiving Week, our theme is songs of Thanksgiving or Thankfulness.

So, of course, the first song that pops into my mind is Andrew Gold's Thank You For Being a Friend, which also reminds me of this:

The Golden Girls!

Moving to the 1970's, how about the 1970's Guess Who hit, Share the Land?  How I love those lyrics of a vision of peace and sharing so different than what we run into today in our daily lives, it seems.
Pete Townshend - Give Blood.  I love this music, it can transport me to another world.
Wrapping up with two about Thanksgiving Day - first, Ray Davies and "Thanksgiving Day".
And finally, this 18 minute classic from Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant, about a particular Thanksgiving Day in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.   Years ago, when we used to travel for Thanksgiving, we would sometimes be able to hit a particular Hudson Valley station that would play this song at noon every Thanksgiving Day.  You'll never think of shovels and rakes and implements of destruction in the same way.

I wonder if they still play it.

You did know I was going to, didn't you, Stacy?

Have a happy Thanksgiving this Thursday (except if you are in Canada - you already had your chance but what the heck, you are welcome to do it again!)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Delight of Cauliflower (with a recipe)

Until recently, cauliflower was a much neglected vegetable. It wasn't even easy to grow - when the head started to form, you had to tie leaves over the little head so that it would self-blanch and turn out white.

Now, it is (for many) one of the most prized veggies.  It is a favorite in the paleo diet, as it can substitute for rice or even potatoes when prepared right.   And it even comes in colors now, like a rainbow.


And yes, white.

As Thanksgiving is coming up, how about some cauliflower "mashed potatoes" as a treat? This is a recipe my spouse, the family cook, makes occasionally.

Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

One Head cauliflower, cut up into the florets.  Of the various types, spouse likes the orange best. (I wouldn't use the purple kind.  White works, though.)
Light butter, to taste
Parmesan Cheese, to taste


1. Cook cauliflower in microwave or steam until fork tender.  Microwaving preserves nutrients. Spouse does not use chicken broth - rather, he uses water.

2 Puree in blender until smooth, adding just enough cooking liquid so it will come out as a thick puree. As you puree, add 1 tbsp light butter in to taste, along with 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Salt to taste.

4. Warm in microwave before you serve it.

5. And that's it. Enjoy!  I won't give suggested number of servings.  That is up to you.

Not only that, it is simple enough, if you have time and a food processor, to make "cauliflower rice".

Some people even make pizza crusts with cauliflower, and these crusts can be purchased commercially.

Have you fallen in love with cauliflower?

Tomorrow is my MusicMovesMe post, but I'll be back Tuesday with another recipe suitable for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sustainable Saturday - Mixed Messages

Friday, November 16.  Nature doesn't quite know what to do.
Just a week ago, everything was so beautiful.  But now, there's confusion.

Snow rests on rhododendrons.

In my back yard, nearly a foot (0.0003048 km) of snow sits there, with yellow leaves still on some of the trees.

And in downtown Binghamton, New York, trees stand, saying to themselves, wasn't this a bit early?

What a mess.

The snow is slowly melting with cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 40's (5 C right now). 

But it's only the beginning.  And soon enough the mixed messages will be gone.
Burning Bush November 12

It will be all winter all the time.  Fall will be a distant memory.

Goodbye, fall.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Birds on a Wire #SkywatchFriday

Today, in upstate New York, we recover from our first true snowstorm of the season.

But not all drama is on the ground.

I don't know why birds cluster like this in mid November and then fly around.  I think these are starlings, but I am not a birder, and I am not sure.  They were even doing it in yesterday's snow.

I just know they eventually alight on utility wires, here near the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, New York.
We were stopped for a red light, and I whipped out my cell phone.
Nice view of a hill called Carpathian Hill.

As the light turned, and my spouse prepared to drive away, I took one last shot.

Join Yogi and other bloggers who watch the sky each Friday at #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day November 2018 - Keiki Momma

Welcome to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

It's the 15th of the month, and we are under our first winter storm weather warning today, for upwards of five to nine inches of snow with a changeover to sleet and freezing rain before it turns back to snow.  My zone 5(b) upstate New York garden is done for the season.

We've had our freeze and our first snowflakes.  Now we are about to get our first snowstorm.

But inside, the weather is delightful (as long as our heat stays on!) and that is where you will find my flowers.  These are mostly plants I bought in (which will or won't survive the long winter) plus a couple I am trying to root.
Double flowered kalanchoe.
White sunpatien.
Pink sunpatien.
Thanksgiving cactus.
Pink geranium.

Red geranium.
Flowers on a coleus I am trying to root in water.

Last, but not least - my pride and joy. It's not a flower but, rather is a baby.  It's called a keiki, and it is a on one of my phalaenopsis.  In another six to twelve months, it will have its own roots, and can then be separated from the plant and rooted. 

A keiki is a small plant growing from one node along the flower stem of a couple of different types of orchids, including phalaenopsis.  This was a Mother's Day gift to my mother in law a couple of years ago, but she knew she would be unable to care for it and gave it back to me after enjoying it for a month or so.  It hasn't rebloomed, and this is the first time any of my orchids have given me a baby.

As an expectant orchid mother, I am so excited! 

Thanks go out once again to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who is responsible for this monthly meme.  Why not go to other sites that have linked to her, and check out what is blooming all over the world?

Tomorrow - Skywatch Friday, and it's for the birds.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fall Gazebo #WordlessWednesday

Photos taken not long after sunrise on November 12 in downtown Binghamton, New York.

Approaching the Broome County Courthouse, a gazebo beckons in the golden hour glow.  I follow.

The gazebo closeup - some of the last color of fall.

Join Esha and other bloggers at #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

An Inside Look at Voting

Yesterday, I overheard a conversation between two women in Binghamton, New York.
Woman #1 (to woman #2):  did you vote?
Woman #2 (who answered, and then she proceed to reminisce about a time when she had young children, and had to take them, a diaper bag, and various amusements to the polls so she could exercise her right and duty.)

Last month I saw a news article about the state of Oregon, which has mail-only voting.  Having lived much of my life in New York State, which has only same day voting and absentee ballots offering only five excuses, a mail ballot intrigued me.  I was even more intrigued to find out that Oregon has been doing it for 18 years - since 2000.

In fact, three states in our country now have mail only voting: Oregon, Washington and Colorado.

And now...heart, stop fluttering - I know (through blogging) an Oregon Ballot inspector, Haralee.  Better yet, I got to read her 10 Tips on Vote by Mail. (more on her "tips" later).

(I'm also happy she doesn't live in Broward County, Florida, where they are having that massive recount of some 700,000 ballots, surrounded by claims of incompetence and possible voter fraud.  In fact, I had just finished a discussion with my spouse when I decided to read the Oregon post.)

Haralee asked, at the end of her post, if anyone reading her post had ever worked an election.  I haven't, but one of my immediate co-workers has, for the past several years.  She takes (vacation time) the day off and works a poll shift that begins at 5:30 am and ends at 9:30 pm.

The poll workers in New York have a multitude of duties, which include verifying everyone coming into vote, writing their name and number (each voter is counted) on a pad of paper as a double check,  helping those whose ballots aren't being accepted by the machine, helping those with disabilities, and so forth.  At each table, when you sign in, there must be a Republican and a Democrat.  They each must wear badges identifying which party they belong to.

It was an exhausting, grueling day for my co worker, which ends only after the last vote is cast.  A part of the machine has to be taken out, under supervision, and delivered to a worker who drives from precinct to precinct, collecting these parts and putting them immediately into a locked bag that he or she has no access to. (In other words, the machines are not directly hooked up to the Internet).  The machines are then (by someone else) impounded.   There are many checks and doublechecks to make sure the vote is not corrupted.

My co worker did all of this for $11 an hour.   The minimum wage in our county, incidentally, is $10.40 an hour.  So these workers defending (in a way) our democracy make barely above minimum wage.

One of the polling places in my county was the local Jewish Community Center, which required extra security for the saddest of reasons.

But turn out people did - in record numbers.

So, back to the 10 tips Haralee in Oregon gave.  After reading it (and chuckling at some of her comments, which weren't that funny but you do have to wonder about human nature), I can see where many people don't take the act of voting that seriously.    And really, no matter where you live, don't write in Jesus, Mickey Mouse or Spider-Man (RIP Stan Lee) either.  She explains why it is not funny at all, and costs taxpayers money.

Today, I am waking to our first sticking snow.  The color season is just about done.

I wish I could vote for more of it.