Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 11, December 31

Eleven Ladies Dancing or Eleven Lords Leaping


Adaptive Adventures
http://adaptiveadventures.org/
Image from Philanthropy Northwest

I started out looking for a dance-focused initiative, and while the Milwaukee Ballet has great outreach programs, we already contribute to the ballet in other ways. So I took a wider look at dancing and leaping and being physically active in general. And found Adaptive Adventures.

The drive to make outdoor activities accessible is picking up momentum, especially when it comes to folks with physical challenges. The mission of Adaptive Adventures is to provide opportunities to go skiing, hiking, sailing, cycling, rafting, scuba, and other good stuff through week-long camps and activity days. They provide all the specialized equipment and specially-trained coaches for less than the cost of a trip to Disneyland. Funds cover equipment, coach training, and transportation for participants.


Also New Year's Eve is Twelfth Night - all that dancing and potential shenanigans (just ask Shakespeare)!! We use to consider days beginning at sundown the day before, with the eve before being a special part of the holiday as a whole (think also Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and every Jewish holiday you can think of). So with tomorrow being 12th day, this evening is Twelfth Night. Celebrate and enjoy!! BUT: please be safe. 


Click here to donate.


Charity Navigator: not listed


Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 10, December 30

Ten Pipers Piping


Milwaukee Achiever Adult Literacy Services
http://www.milwaukeeachiever.org/

The old story of the Pied Piper speaks of leading children by way of music (okay, okay, so it was because the townfolk jilted him out of his payment. I'm going to overlook that). There's something about leading children that says to me education. And nothing more important in education that literacy - it is nearly impossible to learn anything else without first learning to read.  

Not everyone learns to read when a child. It's a hard life as an illiterate adult. My father spent decades working with an adult literacy group, teaching other adults to read. I've always admired him for it, but it was only after I became an adult that I recognized how great the need is to help folks read. 




Click here to donate.


Charity Navigator: listed but not rated

Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 9, December 29

Nine Drummers Drumming


COA Youth & Family Centers
http://coa-yfc.org/wp/

With all this drumming, I wanted to find an initiative in support of music. Howwww-ever: that was easier said than done (seriously). One organization that counts music programming as one among many is the COA Youth & Family Centers. They have outreach programs for Milwaukee youth, their families, and their communities, ranging from early childhood development, youth leadership, to a neighborhood medical clinic. And music. 

COA Youth & Family Centers has been providing outreach to families in poverty since 1906, a fact that both impresses me by its history, and depresses me that we are still working to bring people out of poverty. But work at it we must, one generation at a time. As Craig Ferguson would say, "keep banging on your drum."




Click here to donate.



Charity Navigator: four (of four) star rating


Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 8, December 28

Eight Maids Milking


Kiva
kiva.org

Image from Animals Town
Given that what they want is cows... 

If you're not aware of the microfinance movement, now's your chance. Kiva is a cornerstone microlending organization, on a "mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty." Kiva coordinates small loans (as little as $25) directly between you and a borrower who would otherwise not receive the funds they need to move toward a new life. So, you could be helping someone buy cows. Or fabric and thread for a tailoring business. Or supplies for indoor plumbing. You get to choose.

What's really impressive is that 100% of the money lent by individuals through Kiva goes directly to the microloans; they take no cut of these funds for overhead. They fundraise separately for that; donations during the current drive (until December 31) will cover the overhead of Kiva staff so they can keep helping people help others. 



Click here to donate.

Charity Navigator: four (of four) star rating


Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 7, December 27

Seven Swans Swimming

Milwaukee RiverKeeper
http://www.mkeriverkeeper.org/

Okay, so I'm going to warn you upfront, this one takes some explaining. I wanted to do something beyond birds, so swans were out, even though there has been some really great success with Trumpeter Swan recovery. Swimming was tough: I couldn't find any initiatives to donate to (granted, if I had a few thousand rather than a few dollars to donate, I might get someone's attention). 

After some creative searching (I am a researcher by trade after all, and painfully curious by nature...), I found SWAN, the Senior Water Advocacy Network, 
a program associated with Milwaukee Riverkeeper. The group involves folks aged 50+ in efforts for water conservation and specifically offers training to those who want to become advocates for Wisconsin waterways. Sort of like a water-lorax (check with your Seuss). 



Click here to donate.


Charity Navigator: not rated
Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 


Friday, December 26, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 6, December 26

Six Geese A'Laying


The Livestock Conservancy
http://www.livestockconservancy.org

One of the most profound food movements has been the recent growth of interest in locally sourced, small farm produced goods. We're rediscovering that it really does taste better fresh and not heavily processed. When you get to the farmer's market, and and a farmer is selling "heritage" pork, or duck, or goose, where did they get their old-timey livestock?

The Livestock Conservancy has been saving rare breeds since 1977. They coordinate efforts between folks breeding rare stock as well as provide information and education for folks wanting more info about heritage breeds. Rather like that farmer you just bought this week's dinner from. 





Click here to donate.



Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 5, December 25

Five Gold Rings


Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans
Image from postitartist
a.k.a. NEADS
(a.k.a. National Education for Assistance Dog Services)
http://www.neads.org/


I've heard both the five "gold" and five "golden" rings version. I like the gold version better even though that's harder to sing. All those golden rings I got from the gumball machine as a kid turned my fingers green... 

This one is another stretch, sort of. I'm thinking of the rings figuratively, and more literally as collars (see where I'm going with this...?). Service animals*, and dogs in particular, are the difference between existing and living for people challenged by disability. Best friend as helper is hard to improve upon. 


Click here to donate.

Charity Navigator: four (of four) star rating


*Please be aware that there is a vast difference between true service animals and "emotional support" animals. There's a lot of misinformation about what emotional support animals can and can't do (pigs still don't fly). 


Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 4, December 24

Four Colly Birds


Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
http://www.sanc.org/

Yes, you read that right: colly birds. Yes, we all grew up singing about "calling" birds, but that's wrong. The original lyric is colly, which is an old English way of saying black. So: we've got four black birds. 

And what's the first name you think of when you think of birds? Audubon. The National Audubon Society has a fantastic bird identification guide online, and a long history of conservation efforts. Their initiatives reach out here in Milwaukee through the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (yes, there is a beer history). It's a beautiful place to take a hike, and of course they provide all sorts of educational programming. Particularly important for urban kids, so they can see a forest in person, or a pond that's not just a puddle, let alone the beaches of Lake Michigan (it's shocking how many kids in Milwaukee have never seen the lake). The SANC is an "independent, locally supported partner" of the national organization. Right up my alley. 


Click here to donate.




Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 3, December 23

Three French Hens

Doctors Without Borders
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
a.k.a. Médecins Sans Frontières

How do you get from point A (french 
See note*
hens), to point B (today's group)? Doctors without Borders was founded in France in 1971. In many ways they have picked up where the Red Cross left off, serving medical and humanitarian issues on a global scale.

Can I really say enough about the need for medical care in developing or politically volatile regions? Recently, the global ebola virus crisis has made good press (Time's People of 2014, rightfully so). And yet the need goes beyond this drama to the many day-to-day needs of a typical community. 


Click here to donate.


Charity Navigator: four (of four) star rating

*Note about the hen image: I cannot tell you how many images of "french hens" showed them with cigarettes. Slap a beret on its head, stick a cigarette in its beak - it's French, right?! True to stereotype (although that's changing), I couldn't bring myself to show smoking chickens and a health organization... 


Whaaaaaaat?!

Image from notgoinggracefully


Also: Happy Festivus, for the rest of us!  Random fact: Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle was declared Governor Festivus in 2005, and had his very own Festivus pole at the mansion in Madison. Doyle's Festivus pole is now in the Wisconsin Historical Society Collection. Who knew?!

Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 2, December 22

Two Turtledoves
Image from realscience.org.uk

Peace Action Wisconsin
http://www.peaceactionwi.org/

Doves are widely recognized as a symbol of peace. The fact that there are two doves in this verse says to me we should be bringing peace to each other and those around us. 

Like many groups, Peace Action Wisconsin is the local affiliate of a national organization. I find it more empowering to donate locally, where the impact on the community I live in is more direct.


Click here to donate. 


Charity Navigator: not rated
National Affiliate


Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule: Day 1, December 21

A Partridge in a Pear Tree


Image from imgkid.com
Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin
http://www.feedingamericawi.org/


This one is all about food. Both partridges and pears are edible - what could be more abundant than having both! Food is such a basic need, and food insecurity affects millions in the US alone. Contrary to popular belief, folks in rural areas are twice more likely to go hungry than folks in cities. I will leave it up to you to find the exact numbers of people without enough to eat. The fact remains there are too many.

The double benefit of groups like Feeding America is the amount of food waste they prevent. By recovering perfectly consumable goods along the manufacturing and retail supply chain, we lessen our waste burden in addition to feeding folks. 
Win win!

Click here to donate.

Charity Navigator: four star rating (out of four)
There is also a national affiliate, and probably one for your area


Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 


Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving


There are so many traditions associated with the dark of winter. Some are ancient, some more recent, some stand-alone, some co-opt earlier ideas. For me, any celebration with family and friends that expresses an attitude of gratitude is a wonderful thing. As for these late-December fests, I hope we can agree that they all celebrate the idea that we have reached the darkest the season has to offer, and light is on its way back.

We call end-of-December celebrations "mid-winter," but really winter doesn't begin until December 21. Mid-winter actually falls on around February 2, Groundhog Day (half-way between the first day of winter and the first day of spring). Also shifted in the calendar and in common culture are traditions like the German/Scandinavian festival of Yule. This 12 day tradition originally began on December 21 and ended on January 1, making for 12 days of good times to mark the fact that we've made it past the darkest point in the year. Ancient folk could take a look at the foodstores and calculate survival until spring, and then splurge a little on some feasts (because we're good planners and put up more than we needed, right?). This is also a time when you gave to those who wouldn't have enough to make it, because taking care of each other is what we do (or should do, anyway).

In our home, we've been seeking to add some seasonal traditions to our days. I like the idea of celebrations that mark both the cycle of the year as well as give us some specific times to celebrate with gratitude. Many festival dates seem so arbitrary to me, but things like astronomical events just are. So this year, we're experimenting with marking the twelve day Yule celebration. And the best way I can think of to express gratitude is to give stuff away. Stuff stuff, or dollars that can be stuff. We're already swamped time-wise, so for us this year, I'm thinking small monetary donations; there's no reason to destroy the budget over this. Take the maximum you can afford, and divide by 12. Even Wikipedia recognizes that if we all gave a couple bucks, there would be more than enough. 

Since celebrations are more fun with a theme, our twelve days of giving will be based on the song The 12 Days of Christmas. Now, before you start schooling me on the hidden Christian meanings in the song, please do your own research in discovering that's simply not the case. It's a sweet idea, but it was imposed on the lyrics late in the 19th century, well after the earliest print version of the song in 1780 (which is some time later than its actual origin). It is true that the 12 days in the song are meant to fall between December 25 and January 5, but the idea of '12 days' of celebration over the dark days of winter is much, much older. 

For each of the 12 days, we're going to pick an organization, charity, group, cause that is based (even loosely, sometimes very loosely) on the verse theme of the day. For a reminder, and because there are some differences in the later verses, here are the twelve we will be using: 
Day 1: partridge in a pear tree
Day 2: turtledoves
Day 3: French hens
Day 4: colly birds
Day 5: gold rings
Day 6: geese laying eggs
Day 7: swans swimming
Day 8: maids milking
Day 9: drummers drumming
Day 10: pipers piping
Day 11: ladies dancing and lords leaping
Day 12: bells ringing

I tried to be creative in choosing the donees. It was important to me to keep it local if possible, and to think beyond the usual corral of organizations. Our donor dollars are often aimed at museums, but there are nature groups, arts groups, and educational initiatives. There are so many groups out there doing really amazing things. I used Charity Navigator both to get some ideas of where to donate and to check the charitable "health" of a group. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this whole shpiel, and if you follow along, or do a bit of your own yuletide giving, I'd love to hear about that too.


Image by justalittleknotty at DeviantArt

Twelve Days of Yule = Twelve Days of Giving is a personal initiative by me at the SoMil Homesteader to bring some focus to a holiday about gratitude. I don't have any official connections to any of these organizations, other than being a very small donor. Peace out. 


Friday, December 19, 2014

Weekly Randomness for Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Miss Pooh!!


Today is Nora Blue's 12th Birthday!

News that made me stop what I was doing to look it up.
Weekly Shits n' Giggles

Weekend Aims
  • The last of the decorating - time to put up our tree! 
  • Time to start that something special I mentioned. More info tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pumpkin Spiced Mini-Muffins with Dark Chocolate Bits

I've been deep in use-it-up-before-you-have-to-throw-it-out mode. It started with Thanksgiving leftovers. We cook pretty regularly, and it's not unusual for us to accumulate the odd container or two in the fridge. They don't start out odd, but after lurking in the back of the fridge long enough...

I had leftover roasted pumpkin puree after making pie at Thanksgiving. Not wanting to leave it in the freezer until next year (not that I've ever done that...), I thought some bite-sized sweet treats for lunches would be ideal. Anything too starchy-sugary would leave me logey-headed for the afternoon, so I also thought something nut flour-based would be even better. 



I'm a huge fan of Danielle Walker and her recipes on Against All Grain. The Spiced Pumpkin Muffin in her Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great cookbook was just the ticket. 

I followed her recipe pretty much, except I substituted agave nectar for the honey (also using up the nectar), making it barely sweet; I think I will use honey next time. Although, I used dark chocolate morsels and I think the chocolate flavor really stands out in this version. And I tweaked the spices a little to suit our taste. I left out the pecans because I thought it might conflict with the almond flour base. Maybe next time I will add sliced almonds or coconut flakes on top for some crunch. 




Pumpkin Spiced Mini-Muffins
adapted from Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great
by Danielle Walker of Against All Grain

Dry ingredients

  • 2 c almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (we really like cinnamon)
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar (the original recipe called for honey or maple syrup; I definitely I'll use honey next time)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (I might use butter next time for the flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  • Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners. This recipe made 24 minis for me (the number will depend on the size of your minis - there are a couple sizes out there...).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. 
  • Add the wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine (you can use the same whisk - save on dishes!). 
  • Add the dry into the wet, and mix well (wooden spoon duty).
  • Let it rest a few minutes and allow the coconut flour to hydrate and thicken the batter.
  • I found the batter too thick to pour, so I used a cookie scoop (about 1 inch size) to divide the batter into the liners. They also didn't rise much for me, so I filled them pretty full. 
  • Sprinkle a few chocolate pieces on top of each muffin.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the largest muffin comes out clean. 
  • Cool. Store in a container to keep 'em moist and tasty!





Monday, December 15, 2014

Magnet Monday: Here Kitty, Kitty

Cheesy Refrigerator Magnet for Monday, December 15, 2014
"People Make Great Pets When Properly Trained", Siamese cat, wood with paper, circa 1997




In honor of National Cat Herders Day. 

From the founders at Wellcat
If you can say that your job, or even your life, 
is like trying to herd cats,
 then this day is for you, with our sympathy.


It is also National Bill of Rights Day. And some days in government, it's about the same thing...


Magnet Monday features a selection from our semi-vast and ever growing collection of cheesy refrigerator magnets. Without doubt the perfect souvenir. Only slightly less cheesy than collecting snow globes but maybe a lot easier to smuggle in your bra. If need be. Which I hope it never is. Unless it's really worth it.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Something to Cry About: Wild Rooster Diner CLOSED

UPDATE December 12, 2014
It is sad but appears to be true that the Wild Rooster has closed. There has been a lot of really disappointed people expressing dismay on the restaurant's Facebook page. Much speculation but very little fact as to why, but I will say a lot of folk would be perfectly tickled if they reopened, preferably someplace close by. 
le sigh....


UPDATE December 6, 2014
We tried to go to dinner at the Wild Rooster this last week only to find the doors closed. We are so disappointed, and we are not the only ones. A local CudahyNOW contributor is trying to find out if our new favorite diner is just on vacation or gone for good.  

The Wild Rooster Diner recently opened in downtown Cudahy. I love love love having great local places. Technically, it reopened under new management. I never went to what was there before and frankly don't recall what it was called*. I had heard it was awful.



This new diner has excellent tasty food indeed. Don't take just our word for it (Yelp, TripAdvisor). We've stopped for brunch several times, service is friendly and efficient. Food is fresh, hot/cold as appropriate, plentiful, and tasty (I already said that? well, it's true). The menu has basic diner fare, but also keilbasa and eggs, smoked pork chops (chuletas!) and eggs, tex-mex burgers with pico de gallo and avocado. Fries are decent, better yet are the house special baby red home-fries, or even their homemade potato chips. Lunch and dinner specials are posted daily for view as you come in (also on their FB page).

At our last visit they introduced iced coffees, which I think were premade. But they were cold and tasty nonetheless. We've had their signature bloody mary too (made with pepper vodka). Also cold and very, very tasty. 

Check them out!



*according to Google street view, it was Fili's Family restaurant

Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekly Randomness for Friday, December 12, 2014


News that made me stop what I was doing to look it up.
Weekly Shits n' Giggles

Weekend Aims
  • More decorating. More canning. Yes, it's a different weekend... 
  • Maybe.... a movie! Suggestions?
  • I've been working on something to share, but it's not quite time. Soon.
  • Plantibody


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Grant Park Owl Prowl December 11

I'm so excited that the Friends of Grant Park are teaming up with the Schlitz Audobon Center to showcase some raptors at the Grant Park Clubhouse. Tomorrow evening, there will be several raptors for meet and greet - a real chance to see the birds up close and personal: "Cutright" the Peregrine Falcon, "Dory" the Saw-whet Owl, "Malary" the Kestrel (one of my favorites), "Tskili" the Great Horned owl, and "Tucker" the Screech Owl. 


Then the plan is to head out into the park after dark and "hoot up" some wild owls, see if they sass back. We live very close to the park, and we hear Great Horned Owls frequently, every now and then a Screech Owl. There's just something very untamed about hearing owls at night; for a moment, even though I'm snug in my bed, it feels as though I were camping in the thickest woods.


Please join the Friends of Grant Park for an unusual evening with some winged ambassadors from the Schlitz Audubon Center:
Thursday, Dec. 11th at 6:15 p.m.
Program starts promptly at 6:30
Cookies & cider at 7:30
Owl Prowl, weather permitting, at 8:00
Details at the FoGP website 


Monday, December 8, 2014

Magnet Monday: Elephants Don't Forget

Cheesy Refrigerator Magnet for Monday, December 8, 2014
"Thailand", 3D resin, elephants and jungle trees, circa 2010



One of the things I enjoy most about what I do is the chance to meet and work with people from all over the world. When I was in graduate school, we had folks from 6 of the 7 continents of the world working there (nobody from Antarctica). We had the best potlucks. 

This magnet was a gift from a post-doctoral fellow from Thailand, and I will always remember his smile and kind nature. He also made the most amazing green curry with chicken and green beans. Wherever you are Noong, I wish you well! 



Magnet Monday features a selection from our semi-vast and ever growing collection of cheesy refrigerator magnets. Without doubt the perfect souvenir. Only slightly less cheesy than collecting snow globes but maybe a lot easier to smuggle in your bra. If need be. Which I hope it never is. Unless it's really worth it.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Weekly Randomness for Friday December 5, 2014


News that made me stop what I was doing to look it up.
Weekly Shits n' Giggles
Weekend Aims
  • More canning. More binge watching Midsomer Murders on AcornTV.  
  • Finish any more plans for handmade gifts.
  • Go Bucky go!!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 5 is National Comfort Food Day

I kid you not - Friday December 5th has been designated Comfort Food Day. 
I think comfort food means different things to different people, but in general it seems to mean something warm and filling. I'm sure there are people out there that find salads a comfort food, but they are vastly outnumbered by the soup-chili-mac n' cheese-casserole crowd. The idea itself is as old as the human need for comfort, but the phrase was only added to the dictionary in 1977.


My ultimate comfort food is a grilled cheese sammich and tomato soup. As a kid, that meant plastic-wrapped squares of Kraft cheese and white bread toasted in a pan with butter and pressed down until the cheese bonded with the bread, and Campbell's condensed tomato. In college they served grilled cheese & tomato soup every few Fridays; they also had Carmelita Bars. Sort of like an oatmeal, chocolate chip caramel cookie bar, and I was addicted to them. I've never found a recipe to replicate them. Maybe that's not a bad thing, aging and metabolism being what it is. This recipe is pretty close.


Pillsbury Carmelita Bars


There are so many ideals when it comes to comfort foods - everyone has their favorite. In case you are looking to change up your comfort food, here are some tasty options from around the web:




What's your favorite comfort food? Do tell!!



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Linen Closet: Hanky for December 2, 2014

I posted the first of these linens in the Hanky Project in August. Since then, I've learned, well, to be honest, nothing new to add. Information about vintage handkerchiefs is hard to find. Our Milwaukee Public Library has some reference books in their Fine Art Reference collection. And I swear I will get there one of these days...

In the meantime, here's another hanky. The skill to make this one is so impressive. 



Each of these leaves was hand shaped, and the edges of the pieces folded over before sewing it onto the hanky square.



It has a nice layout. Very simple. Even the secondary corners have delicate decoration.



Up close, you can really see the hand done details. I keep thinking: this must have been what women of gentile leisure did to pass the time in the early 20th century. It has some blue to it - was this part of someone's trousseau?



The back is almost as finished-looking as the front. 



I have several handkerchiefs with these kinds of piecework additions. I'm hoping to learn more about them. 





Monday, December 1, 2014

Magnet Monday: WiscSymbols

Cheesy Refrigerator Magnet for Monday, December 1, 2014
"Wisconsin", American Robin, White-Tailed Deer, Dairy Farming Capitol, Wood Violets, circa 2007 (?)



In honor of deer season. We see our fair share of urban park deer here; most are skittish and harmless, but not all. They can be a real nuisance, crossing neighborhood streets willy-nilly and giving new meaning to the phrase "garden fresh salad bar" (stay out of my hostas!). 

I'm pretty sure we picked this magnet up at Mitchell Airport here in Milwaukee. If I were to guess further, I would say we were waiting to leave on a flight rather than waiting for someone to arrive. Taking a small reminder of home along for the trip. That does seem awfully cheesy, but I'm proud of our dairy history and charmed by the robins and violets. Deer, as long as they don't treat my garden as a smorgasbord, are fine too. 



Magnet Monday features a selection from our semi-vast and ever growing collection of cheesy refrigerator magnets. Without doubt the perfect souvenir. Only slightly less cheesy than collecting snow globes but maybe a lot easier to smuggle in your bra. If need be. Which I hope it never is. Unless it's really worth it.