Bragging on My Homeschooled Kid

UPDATE: The “biggest” school my son was accepted to is UC-Berkeley. He will enter as a Junior. Not bad. Anybody reading this blog who has a bone to pick with homeschooling or, on the other hand, want to know how we did it … leave a comment or email me.

~ Back to the original post ~

My son just got accepted to every university he applied to. Needless to say, I am a very proud mother.

His father and I took him out of public school mid-way through 6th grade. We homeschooled him. His father passed away, suddenly, when he was 16. We kept on keeping on.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Happy Birthday, Lucianne Goldberg

Lucianne Goldberg’s website is the first thing I read in the morning and the last thing I read at night.

Today is her birthday.

Happy Birthday!s

Thank you for the work you have done.  Thank you for giving me and others this beautiful salon.

I wish you many more decades of a beautiful life.

Speaking from experience, I can exhuberantly say that turning 50 isn’t the end of the world.  Oh, wait.  You’re 40, right?  30?  ROCK ON, Mrs. G.

Congrats and thanks from a long-time LDotter.

I would post-up Mrs. G’s pancake recipe, but I can’t find it right now.  If you’re an LDotter, you probably have it.

History of Earth Day ~ Local Food & Juicing

Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson. Senator Nelson pitched the idea of Earth Day to President John Kennedy in the early 1960’s. President Kennedy liked the idea and embarked on a 5-day, 11-state tour with Nelson in September of 1963, but the idea didn’t gain national attention. Senator Nelson didn’t give up, and wrote about the journey that eventually culminated in the first big Earth Day in 1970.

Before I continue, there are a few things you should know about me:

I recycle, take canvas bags or bags made of recycled materials when I shop (even to Macy’s), buy food produced locally, organically, humanely when I can.

I am a carnivore, think Al Gore is a money-grubbing hypocrite, shake my head at those who think the science is settled. I don’t own a pair of Birkenstock shoes. I don’t drive a hybrid.

Anyway … I am also a big supporter of buying food locally. I like spending my food budget buying from local, family, organic farms. I live in a climate that makes it pretty easy. Think you can’t do that because of your climate? Think Again!

I went to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market yesterday. Bought: beets, carrots, blood oranges, purple asparagus, spinach, arugula, herbs. Total cost? About $15. Supported local, family farms. Did not contribute to “man-made global warming” in buying produce flown in from another country.

Roasted the purple asparagus last night. Served it with lamb and a salad made from the greens I bought yesterday.

Today, I fired up the juicer and used some of the beets, oranges, and carrots. Here’s a link for you about juicing.

BEET, ORANGE & CARROT JUICE:
2 beets, washed & tops removed
2 oranges, peeled
4 carrots, washed

Fire up the juicer, put everything in, and enjoy.

EAT YOUR HISTORY (in this case, drink your history)

Los Angeles Tea Party

I attended the tea party held in front of Dianne Feinstein’s office in Los Angeles. Most of us estimated the crowd size at around 200. Not bad, considering this is in the heart of Henry Waxman’s district.

The tea party started at 5:30, smack in the middle of rush hour. (A drive to the location from my apartment normally takes about 5 minutes … this drive took 45 minutes, even though I tried my super secret back street routes.) Santa Monica Boulevard was packed with cars. I’d say a good 50% of the people that drove by were honking their horns, giving us the thumbs up. That really surprised me and gave me hope that finally we might have a shot at unseating Waxman.

I’m not the greatest photographer in the world, but did get a few good shots from my cell phone.

First, the crowd. There was another crowd across the street. Mostly college students.

Three students from Pepperdine University (I was able to introduce them to Ari David, who is running against Waxman in November.) They will hopefully work the campus for Ari.

My favorite:

Like I said, Ari David is running against Waxman. I met him several weeks ago at a street fair in Westwood. He impressed me, and I remain impressed. Please consider throwing some money his way. Ari David For Congress. Please at least visit his website. I also highly recommend you check him out on Facebook, which you can access from his website.

In all fairness, there is another man running to unseat Waxman. I met him at the tea party, too. He seems like a decent and intelligent man. For me, he was just a little too … hip, slick and cool. I’m tired of hip, slick and cool. His name is Robert Flutie.

What I’m Grateful For Today ~ Hawks

I walked onto the balcony of my apartment this morning and saw a hawk sitting on the roof of the apartment across the alley. Behold the California Red-Tailed Hawk:

My husband and I lived in a more rural part of Southern California until he passed away about 2 years ago. Had to sell our home and move our son and I into an apartment in Los Angeles. Love the city, but also miss the rural life. Seeing this hawk this morning, in the thick of the city, made my heart sing.

I am grateful for the many blessings.

PS These are not my original pictures as I didn’t have my camera with me at the time. These pictures, however, are exactly what I saw this morning. It was wonderful.

Ft. Sumpter ~ Civil War Begins ~ Shrimp & Grits

Today, in 1861, Confederate troops opened fire on Ft. Sumpter in Charleston Harbor.  The Civil War began.  Two days later, the Union general surrendered, and the garrison of soldiers were evacuated.  As Publius said of the war: it was widely expected to end quickly … it didn’t.

I highly recommend you visit this site to learn more about the Civil War.  They even have an interactive battle map to play with!

While you explore the Civil War,  you might want to make some traditional low country cuisine.  For me, it’s all about shrimp & grits today.  In a Bobby Flay episode a few years ago on the Food Network, Bobby was cooking with a woman named Martha Nesbit.  This is her recipe, and it’s wonderful.

SHRIMP & GRITS (serves 4)

4 cups water
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup stone-ground grits
3 Tbs. butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, chopped
4 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 large clove garlic, minced

Bring water to a boil.  Add salt & pepper.  Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.

Rinse shrimp and pat dry.  Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; drain well.  Add shrimp to the bacon fat in the skillet.  Cook just until the shrimp turn pink.  Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes.

Spoon grits into a serving bowl.  Add shrimp mixture and mix well.  Serve immediately.

Go Eat Your History!

National Cheese Fondue Day

Fondue was all the rage decades ago.  I’m happy it’s making a comeback.  Here’s Tyler Florence’s recipe:

CHEESE FONDUE

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Assorted dippers

Directions

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.

Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.

Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot. Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads. Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus. Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!