Friday, November 28, 2008

Hershey Kiss, Pretzel, M&M Treats

This looks like a pretty easy and delicious recipe for the holidays:

An even number mini pretzels, Hershey Kisses and holiday colored M&M’s.

preheat oven to the lowest it will go.
unwrap all Hershey Kisses
put pretzels down in a single layer on baking sheet
place a Hershey Kiss on top of each pretzel
put in oven for about 10 minutes - kisses should be soft but not melted (if you use the white/black chocolate hugs - it probably should be less time)
remove from oven and immediately press one M&M into each Hershey Kiss
allow to cool so kisses are firmed back up

Thursday, November 27, 2008

President elect Obama and his family spent Thanksgiving eve working at a church food bank in Chicago. You can read about it here:

Everybody probably knows by now that Obama's favorite pie is Sweet Potato. If you are wondering where Obama will be able to get his favorite pie for the next 8 years, here is a really wonder video about Henry's, a famous soul food restaurant in Washington DC: Slate V - Presidential Pie

His pies are so popular they are now sold online

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bad Karma?

Enjoy the silence while you can. Ann Coulter has had her jaw wired shut. Apparently she fell and broke her jaw. Most people who fall break an arm or a leg or nothing at all. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone breaking a jaw in a fall. Kind of makes me believe in karma or some kind of divine retribution. If anyone deserves to be silenced it's her. Because of her mean nasty comments and her strange looks, she has a lot of nicknames. If you watch Keith Olbermann on MSNBC you probably know her by the name Coultergeist. Some of her other nicknames are Ann the Man, Ghoulter, and Annexoria. These are the nicer ones.
Here are some of the the things she has said in the past:

"We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say."

"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women. It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it's the party of women and 'We'll pay for health care and tuition and day care -- and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?'"

"If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

"I was going to have a few comments about John Edwards but you have to go into rehab if you use the word faggot."

"These broads (911 widows) are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband's deaths so much."

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee. That's just a joke, for you in the media."

"Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole."

"There are a lot of bad republicans; there are no good democrats."

"We need to execute people like (John Walker Lindh) in order to physically intimidate liberals."

"Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots."

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

"Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that old Arab Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the President."

"The swing voters -- I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Potluck #50: Global Nation

I looked at all of the recommended sites but used Tripbase to get started on my trip plans. I already knew that I wanted to go Botswana and wanted to see if the site would give me this destination when I typed in my preferences. I limited my search to Africa and got The Okavango Delta in Botswana, Serengeti Park in Tanzania, Cape Town, South Africa, Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, and Johannesburg, South Africa. I've been to the Serengeti and the Masai Mara and the other 3 suggested places are places I want to go. I have wanted to go to Botswana ever since I read "Okavango Delta: Africa's Last Eden" by Frans Lanting.

The Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland delta. It empties onto the Kalahari Desert. Tourists to the area camp in permanent tented camps which is the best way to see the area. I stayed in a tented camp in Kenya and it's so much better than staying in a hotel. The wildlife come right up to your camp at night and as long as you don't go out after dark without a guide you are fine. Because the area around the Okavango Delta is arid, the delta region is home to a huge variety of wildlife including elephants, buffalo, hippos, topi, wildebeest, giraffe, the Nile crocodile, lion, cheetah, hyenas, wild dogs, antelope, rhino, zebra, warthog (my favorite) and baboon. It's also a bird lovers paradise with over 400 species of birds.
This site also gives you an idea of the best times to go, what kind of weather to expect, and costs.
I then went to IgoUgo. This site has everything you need to know about any destination including reviews, photos, and recommendations from people who have travelled there. There are lots of tips about where to stay and what to see.My trip will also include a few day in Namibia seeing Sossusvlei and the Skeleton Coast. I also want to spend 2 weeks or more in South Africa including a trip to MalaMala Game Reserve and Greater Kruger National Park. I also want to see some villages where the Ndebele people live and spend a few days in Capetown including a visit to a penguin reserve.
No trip to Southern Africa is complete without a trip to Victoria Falls which is on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe so that is also on the itinerary.

The picture is of one of the painted houses of the Ndebele people.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Barack Obama Elementary School

On Thursday night, the Hempstead School District in Long Island voted to rename Ludlum Elementary School, Barack Obama Elementary School. The school is diverse with a large Latino and African American student body and the students and staff requested the name change to honor this diversity and the election of the first African American president. Before the election, the students had mock debates and a mock election. Stories like this make me feel like we can be a great country again and I think this is just the first of many, many places in the US and all over the world that will be named in honor of our new President.

More good news:
A poll taken by the CNN Opinion Research Corp. found that 75 percent of Americans think Obama will be a good or great president. This is interesting because the number is so much higher than the 53 percent who voted for him.

I think most people would be more than happy to send W to the ranch early and have Obama take over the country now before things get worse. This is what Thomas Friedman had to say on the subject:

"If I had my druthers right now we would convene a special session of Congress, amend the Constitution and move up the inauguration from Jan. 20 to Thanksgiving Day. Forget the inaugural balls; we can’t afford them. Forget the grandstands; we don’t need them. Just get me a Supreme Court justice and a Bible, and let’s swear in Barack Obama right now — by choice — with the same haste we did — by necessity — with L.B.J. in the back of Air Force One. "

Friday, November 21, 2008

Potluck #51: Holidays and Cooking and Recipes- Oh My!

For this assignment I found a recipe on the Whole Foods website for Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts. It feeds 14-16 people so I used the Recipe Ingredient Conversion Calculator
to convert the recipe to feed 7-8 people.
Here is the converted recipe. The original amounts are in parenthesis.

Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts

1 tablespoon olive oil (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon yellow onions, finely chopped (2 )
0.5 clove garlic, finely chopped (1 )
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (7 cup)
1 teaspoon salt (2 teaspoons)
1 cup uncooked wild rice (2 cup)
1 cup uncooked basmati rice (2 cup)
1 cup dried cranberries (2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon chopped thyme (2 tablespoons)
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (1 1/2 cup)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in wild rice, cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in basmati rice, cover and simmer until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir in cranberries, parsley, thyme, and walnuts, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Transfer rice mixture to dish and bake until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Nutritional information:

Per serving (about 7oz/212g-wt.): 330 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 58g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 12g sugar), 8g protein

Even though I hardly ever cook, I do enjoy looking at recipes online and I also love to look through cookbooks, which is easy to do when you work in the cataloging department at HCPL.

Here is a link to recipe for a Spice Cranberry Bundt Cake that I found on the Bon Appetit website:

This looks really yummy and I have a beautiful bundt cake pan that I bought at Williams Sonoma a few years ago. It has never been used.

Since both of these recipes have cranberries I decided to include some facts about them that I found on

Cranberries are low in calories, have zero fat and are a good source of Vitamin C.
Here are some of the health benefits of eating cranberries:
prevent bacteria in the bladder, kidneys and prostate
supports optimum urinary tract health
may prevent kidney stone
deodorize urine
have both antiviral and antibacterial properties
Here are some fun facts about cranberries:
More than 85% of the weight of cranberries is water!
Native Americans used a brewed cranberry mixture to draw poison from arrow wounds
Native Americans used cranberries as a natural meat preservative.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I like my Nissan Versa and was glad to read this from the December issue of Consumer Reports:
"The Honda Fit and Nissan Versa outperformed their competitors in Consumer Reports’ tests of eleven thrifty, small cars for the December issue. As a group, these cars provide fuel economy that’s second to only a few diesels and hybrids. . . In the group equipped with automatic transmissions, the Versa squeaked by the competition to achieve the best overall score. The Fit, Rio, and Accent, placed a close second, third, and fourth place, respectively, in that category. All four vehicles achieved “Very Good” overall scores. "

Friday, November 14, 2008

Front Pages

This web site has the front pages from 735 newspaper from 67 countries from November 5, 2008, the day after Obama won the election. It seems that the whole world was celebrating with us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Here are 2 pictures of Ringo the neighborhood cat who likes to walk with the dogs when we do our walkies. He belongs to someone on another street but often eats at my house. He came in a few minutes ago to get out of the rain and entertain the dogs.


Here are two more pictures of Ringo making himself at home in the guest room.

The blue in the quilt really brings out the blue in his eyes. Isn't he a beautiful guy?

Forever Young

In 1974, Bob Dylan released the song "Forever Young" on the album Planet Waves. It has always been a favorite of mine and now there is a beautifully illustrated book of the lyrics. The illustrator, Paul Rogers, has cleverly included images from other Dylan songs on all of the pages.

There is also this neat little video on Amazon:

We have 17 copies of the book at HCPL. Thanks to Miss Grimm, who hearts Bob Dylan too, for showing me this book.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Rosie

Rosie is 9 years old today. Those of us who love her think she is aging beautifully. Tonight we will have cake and ice cream to celebrate.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month and the NEA has a list of recommended fiction, non-fiction and poetry books for all ages from pre-K to adult. You can find the list here:

Today I cataloged an audiobook by Native American author Louise Erdrich called The Porcupine Year. It's the third in a series of books about an Ojibwe family who live on Lake Superior in the 1800's. The other 2 books in the series are The Birchbark House, a National Book Award finalist, and The Game of Silence, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. These books are recommended for grades 5-8 but I would like to read them all.
This is all pretty interesting to me because I recently became friends with a person who is an Ojibwe Indian. We started emailing each other after she posted a comment on my blog.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ann Nixon Cooper

Here is a picture of Ann Nixon Cooper, the 106 year old woman Obama talked about in his speech last night. Isn't she a better symbol of what America is all about than Joe the Plumber?

The World Reacts to Obama's Election

I am so proud of my country today. When Obama's victory was announced it seemed that the entire world was cheering alongside the millions of supporters in the United States.
Here are some of the reactions:
From the German paper the Bild: "Cheering on all continents: hula dances in Germany, frenzied joy in Japan, India and Africa - and in Kenya, the home of Obama's father, the 6th November was even made a holiday! The world celebrates the new U.S. president Barack Obama, 47."
This is from the Russian newspaper Pravda:
Only Satan would have been worse than the Bush regime. Therefore it could be argued that the new administration in the USA could never be worse than the one which divorced the hearts and minds of Americans from their brothers in the international community, which appalled the rest of the world with shock and awe tactics that included concentration camps, torture, mass murder and utter disrespect for international law. Yet in choosing Obama, the people of America have opted to come back into the international fold. Welcome back, friends!
From the British newspaper The Sun: "one giant leap for mankind."
Rama Yade, France's junior minister for human rights said this on French radio:
"This is the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten. America is rebecoming a New World.
On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes."

From Nelson Mandela: "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said "At a time when we have to confront immense challenges together, your election raises great hopes in France, in Europe and in the rest of the world."

Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast

Monday, November 3, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Baker 13

When I went to work today at the Fondren Library I noticed that one of the huge windows in the front was boarded up. Since last night was Halloween I knew that one of the Baker 13 had probably tried to leave a body print on the glass last night and had broken the glass. A few years ago a student did the same thing to one of the glass doors in the front of the library. I found out that the student last night was trying to leave a butt print on the window. Luckily, no one was hurt, including the student sitting at the desk directly under the window. I was told that there were huge shards of glass hanging in the window after the event. For those of you who don't know, Baker 13 is a tradition at Rice involving naked students and shaving cream. On the 13th and 31st of every month, or the 26th if there is no 31st, students wear only shoes and shaving cream and run around campus leaving shaving cream impressions of their bodies on buildings around campus while others throw water balloons at them. The Halloween run usually attracts the greatest number of runners.
Here is a picture I found on Flickr of the Baker 13.