the RATS of moose

The Random Access ThoughtS of a mid-west, approaching-middle-age, nurse starting the next phase of life.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Best Practices

Sometimes the simplest actions yield the biggest rewards...
This was Chicago and the 'burbs this morning....

I wore my boots to work today. I actually turned around at the parking lot door and went back to my apartment to put them on.

3 inches and counting....

It was the best decision I made all day.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Learn Something New

Tidbits from the Eastern Orthodox religion... if you go to church in a monastery, the women sit on one side to be closer to Mary and the men on the other side to be closer to Jesus. Who knew? They don't teach that in 'catholic lite' church!

Learn Something New Every Day

Today I learned that vanilla is an orchid. Got just a hint of it from a CBS Sunday Morning piece on orchids yesterday and inadvertantly read more about it in my new book, "I'm Just Here For More Food" by Alton Brown (it's all about baking). He had a nice sidebar about vanilla.
Alton said there are 2 varieties used commercially, Bourbon and Tahitian. The pods take a year to ripen (if) you can get the plant to grow. It's taste depends on where it's grown and how it's processed (just like coffee). And... most surprising...imitation vanilla extract contains vanillin and coumarin, the same exact ingredients in 'real' vanilla. (And that I shouldn't be such a snob about using it.) And I will use it... just as soon as I finish up using the quart bottle of double strength Mexican vanilla that sits in my cupboard.

Happy Cooking!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Eve

30 degrees and snow for Easter..... sure is different than Easter eve 33 years ago (give or take a few years, bad memory)... Dinner time on Saturday night. Eating with the family. Mom notices the wind getting pretty strong. Notices some insulation blowing up against the living room window.... and blowing up against the living room window again. She got up to close the window... (oh, please keep in mind that the living room window was on the second floor and overlooked the backyard... we had a walkout basement.... the backyard was part of a shallow valley and included a cornfield, cow pasture, creek and the woods on the hill on the far side of the valley) When Mom got to the window she heard that oft quoted sound of a thundering freight train. She hollered for us to get into the basement... everyone complied... even the dog (who, I believe, was unintentionally assisted down the stairs by someones foot)... well, almost everyone.... I was at the living room window looking for the tornado.... I was still there when the basement door (facing the backyard) blew/slammed open and the house breathed a sigh of relief.... I eventually reached the basement.... severely disappointed.... didn't see any tornado.... rats rats rats.....

I didn't see the tornado because it was only about 30 feet from the window busy taking out our huge old willow tree.


Easter eve this year should prove to be a little less exciting.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April (almost) Showers

Bestest friend had a wedding shower yesterday... in the middle of a thunderstorm and tornado warnings... we kept funnel watch from the many large picture windows in the family room....
While the rain showered outside, the girlz from work 'showered' her inside with some fun fun stuph..... general consensus was that this one was the best..... it was beat up and dog-eared by the time we left... heh heh heh... everyone, including the bride's mother and sister were busy looking up important family dates.... birthdays, anniversaries.... wedding days.... Mother of the Bride's birthday position was the Meatball.... I think her comment was something to the effect of "That will never happen". Everyone got many good laughs from this present. It will go well with the tassels and massage oils.... we are all hoping for pictures.....