Saturday, December 5, 2015

World Soil Day DECEMBER 5, 2015

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate World Soil Day

One annual celebration you might be forgiven for not participating in (or even knowing about) is World Soil Day. Yes, soil—as in that sticky brown stuff that gets walked all over your prized cream carpets. Sadly, it is our ignorance about the importance of soil and the degree to which we take advantage of all that it offers that have led to a drastic reduction in its quality the world over. These are precisely the problems World Soil Day aims to battle, as few things could be more important to us, the inhabitants of Planet Earth, who could never hope to survive without the land. Soil is one without a doubt of the most significant parts of the ecosystem, contributing to our food, water and energy and playing an important part in reducing the impact of climate change. For all of these reasons, it’s high time World Soil Day became known to more people than just scientists concerned about the welfare of our planet.
In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) made a resolution proposing the 5th of December be World Soil Day in order to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and as a vital contributor to human well-being. 2015 was also declared to be the Internationals Year of Soils in hopes of raising as much awareness as possible about the enormous role soil plays in food security. Unsurprisingly, so far it’s mostly been the global community of 60,000 or so soil scientists who have been the ones celebrating the day the most. The chances of us ordinary folk exchanging ‘Happy Soil Day’ cards in the near future remain minimal, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to appreciate the important roles that soil plays in our lives (even if it is darn hard to scrub off the carpet when your nearest and dearest feline friends leave muddy footprints on their way to the kitchen).

thanks, heide, for the following two pics
I think he knows what his Christmas present is...:

Word of the Day


Definition:(noun) A person who spreads frightening rumors and stirs up trouble.
Usage:When he started spreading the rumor that the government was bent on destroying our homes, we decided that he was a scaremonger and stopped paying attention.

On the 12th Day of Catmas...


Closing the Gates Ceremony

The celebration that takes place on this day in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, commemorates the seige of 1688, when James II stormed the Protestant city's walls. Londonderry's governor, Colonel Lundy, wanted to surrender, but his scheme was foiled by 13 boy apprentices who shut the Ferryquay Gate just as the British were about to enter the city. The celebrations held annually in December are set up by the Association of the Apprentice Boys of Derry. The festivities include a historical pageant, the climax of which is the burning of Colonel Lundy's effigy.

Modern Science Detects Disease in 400-Year-Old Embalmed Hearts

In the ruins of a medieval convent in the French city of Rennes, archaeologists discovered five heart-shaped urns made of lead, each containing an embalmed human heart.

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1766 - James Christie, founder of the famous auctioneers, held his first sale in London.

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1776 - In Williamsburg, VA, at the College of William and Mary the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized.

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1782 - The first native U.S. president, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, NY

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1791 - Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at the age of 35. 

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1848U.S. President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming the fact that gold had been discovered in California

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1908 - At the University of Pittsburgh, numerals were first used on football uniforms worn by college football players. 

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1958 - Britain's first motorway, the Preston by-pass, was opened by Prime Minister Macmillan.

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1980 - John Lennon gave his last interview. It was with Jonathan Cott of Rolling Stone. 


If You Were Born Today, December 5

You are a true visionary with the intelligence and creativity to back it up. You are truly ahead of your time. You are resourceful and very quick to take care of the things that need to be done. Freedom-loving always, you don't appreciate being confined or stereotyped whatsoever. You are very sharp and witty, sometimes surprising others with your astute perceptions and quips. You value loyalty in others most. You can sometimes be a little hard on others, as you do expect honesty and integrity and become quite impatient with anything less.Famous people born today: Walt Disney, Little Richard, Jose Maria Carreras, Margaret Cho, Nick Stahl, Frankie Muniz.

Picture of the day
Mars rovers
Two Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers stand with three vehicles, providing a size comparison of three generations of Mars rovers. Front and center is the flight spare for the first Mars rover, Sojourner, which landed on Mars in 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder Project. On the left is a Mars Exploration Rover test vehicle, a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004. On the right is a test rover for the Mars Science Laboratory, which landed Curiosity on Mars in 2012.

Picture of puffins resting on a rock in Iceland

Delayed Takeoff

Photograph by Manuel Schulz, National Geographic 
Manuel Schulz traveled to Iceland to capture some images of the country’s avian residents. After deciding to camp for an extra night in L├ítrabjarg, weather conditions changed on him. “The weather conditions looked great, but shortly before the light was getting nice, a thick wall of fog moved in from the sea and up the cliffs,” Schulz writes. “It was very impressive to see.” Schulz used a wide-angle lens and got close to the cliff’s edge to get this shot of these puffins as they waited for better hunting conditions.



Night by the Fire Color Block Sweater


Moonflower Bedspread Pattern #627

crochet, CHRISTMAS 

crochet, VINTAGE


crochet, booties and hat 


thanks, shelley

Cheesy Roasted Mushroom Melts


Cheesy Roasted Mushroom MeltsOOEY, GOOEY, GONE.ERIN MCDOWELL
For this grown-up take on grilled cheese, we layer roasted portobello mushrooms and onions on crusty Italian bread, then smother the vegetables with three types of cheese (mozzarella, cream cheese and ricotta). These hearty sandwiches go great with a side of shoestring fries.


8 portobello mushroom caps, halved
1 sweet onion, thickly sliced
¼ cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices crusty Italian bread
4 tablespoons cream cheese
8 tablespoons ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the mushroom caps and onion slices with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the balsamic 
vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the mushrooms 
are tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. While the mushrooms cook, prepare the remaining ingredients. Brush or drizzle the remaining olive oil onto
one side of each slice of bread.
4. Turn all the slices over. Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese onto 4 slices of bread, and spread 2 tablespoons 
ricotta onto the other 4 slices.
5. To assemble the sandwiches, layer the roasted mushrooms and onions on the ricotta-slathered slices of bread 
(use 4 mushroom halves and 4 onion rounds per sandwich). Place 3 slices of fresh mozzarella over the 
vegetables, then top with a slice of cream-cheese-slathered bread.
6. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet, and bake until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, 
15 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut in half and serve warm.

stephanie o'dea

CrockPot Roasted Winter Root Vegetables

I learned back on February 5, that roasting vegetables in the crockpot was easy and fool-proof. We've eaten a lot of roasted vegetables since, but I always kind of stick to my comfort zone and pick out the same ones at the grocery store. Not this time. I wanted some sort of traditional winter-y vegetable dish to share at our upcoming holiday dinner. So I googled winter vegetables.

I know carrots (quite well), and I did buy parsnips for the first time this year (they look like big white carrots!) but have never bought a rutabaga. The produce guy was eager to lead the way, and for the rest of the afternoon I sang "rutabaga sits in the old gum tree" even though I know darned well that those aren't the correct words. I just couldn't get it out of my head.

The Ingredients.

--2 pounds carrots
--2 pounds rutabagas
--2 pounds parsnips
--1/2 cup chopped parsley
--3 T olive oil
--1 tsp kosher salt
--1 tsp black pepper
--1 tsp basil

The Directions.

This is enough food to feed about 12. I used the 6.5 quart crockpot. Peel all of your vegetables, and cut into 2-inch chunks. Feed scraps to the guinea pigs. I'm usually a huge fan of the baby carrot (because of laziness), but wanted a more rugged look for this dish. If you would like to use baby carrots, go for it, and don't cut them. Chop the parsley.

Put all the vegetables into your crockpot, and add the olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat fully coat the vegetables.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4-5. The vegetables are done when they have reached desired tenderness. I cooked ours on low for 6 hours, then on high for about 90 minutes.

The Verdict.

I love the ease of roasting vegetables in the crockpot. I would have needed to cook this much food in batches in the oven, and stirred them a few times to keep them from burning (I am no good with the oven!) but in this case, I put the veggies on in the morning and was out for most of the day. The kids picked out a few carrots, but found them to be spicy.



Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments

 Melissa Lennig

Shades of green and brown ribbon emulate the welcoming branches of a Christmas tree. Kids of all ages will especially enjoy spending time outdoors to collect their sticks.
1. Show children how to tie the scraps of ribbon down the stick. I’ve found that wide ribbons, tied into loose knots give the best coverage. For best results, bunch the ribbons close together.
Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments | Fireflies and Mud Pies
READER TIP: Use cinnamon sticks instead of sticks for a festive, scented tree ornament!
Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments | Fireflies and Mud Pies
Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornament for Kids | Fireflies and Mud Pies
2. Trim the ribbon scraps into the shape of a Christmas tree. Optional: After trimming, melt the edges of the ribbons with a match so the ribbon doesn’t fray.
Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments | Fireflies and Mud Pies
3. Use the hot glue to secure a loop of twine to the top of the tree so the ornament can hang, or simply tie it on.
Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments | Fireflies and Mud Pies
Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments are beautifully rustic and simple. They make a great gift for teachers and look especially cute dangling from the Christmas tree or a jar of homemade hot chocolate mix!

Four Calling Birds


Santa's Helpers? You mean Subordinate Clauses.

Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers. - Mignon McLaughlin

Look! Missile toes! Gimme a kiss!

In 1943, before she became a culinary icon, Julia Child helped the U.S. government create shark repellent! Found roaming outside Canberra, Australia, Chris the sheep avoided sheering for five years. It took five shearers 40 minutes to remove 89 pounds of wool! The Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships have been held annually in Savonlinna, Finland, since 2000.

Deck the halls with catnip mousies. Fa la la la la la la la la! Wreck the tree and blame the doggies!

"Welcome" in Japanese (Japan) - Irashaimasu

He was texting while flying.


Show your small appliances some love with Cream of Tartar.

14. Show your small appliances some love with Cream of Tartar.


thanks, lyn

Image result for see you soon

Maxine: Time to start training for my favorite winter sport...extreme hibernating.

I don't know, doc, I just feel hollow inside.

Emergency Room

Free Weight Loss Clinic Today

The Official Chemis-Tree

Peanuts: Christmas

Me: I want a magical unicorn for Christmas. Santa: Be realistic. Me: OK, I want 5 minutes to myself each day to have my coffee hot and pee in peace. Santa: What color unicorn would you like?

Meowy Christmas

1 comment:

  1. Inspired by that mushroom toasted cheese sandwich:) Off to try it!