Saturday, February 26, 2011

We Fish Through Ice

Once again, we joined the throng of protesters at our state's capitol against Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill. Though I haven't heard any official estimates, my guess is this week's crowd was well over 100,000. Protesters marched in the cold and snow for hours. At 3:00 p.m. there were songs by Peter Yarrow and speeches by union members, clergy, teachers, students as well as appearances by well known actor Bradley Whitford and co-pilot Jeff Skiles. Bradley Whitford, an East High School graduate, appeared on The West Wing and returned to his home state to support the protest. He said: "Wisconsinites are so stubborn they fish through ice." A rather catchy phrase for a T-shirt don't you think....We Fish Through Ice!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Rally

Yesterday, I was one of an estimated crowd of 68,000 that gathered at the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin to have their voices heard in protest...and support...of Governor Scott Walker's plan to end collective bargaining. It was a peaceful rally and it felt good to be part of this historic event. After a walk around the square, I headed inside to the rotunda. Though I lived in Madison for 21 years, worked right across the street from the capitol and walked through this beautiful building many, many times, I've never seen it so electrified with the passion and commitment of this great state's electorate. Especially significant to me were the four panels of glass mosaic work on each of the pendentives which make the transition from the octagonal form of the rotunda to the circular form of the dome. I did a little research and found the following information on the State Historical website:

Between the four arches in the rotunda are pendentives, which make the transition from the octagonal form of the rotunda to the circular form of the dome. The four pendentives of the rotunda are decorated with four panels of glass mosaic works designed by Kenyon Cox, for a total cost of $20,000. Kenyon Cox, born in Warren Ohio, (1856 - 1919) was an important American painter, draughtsman and art critic. He also painted murals for the Library of Congress and the Capitols of Iowa and Minnesota.

Cox's mosaic panels are twelve feet high and have an average length of twenty-four feet. Each mosaic consists of approximately 100,000 pieces of glass tile and represents Wisconsin's three branches of government (the legislative, the executive and the judicial) and liberty - the foundation of all power in a free country. "Legislation" is represented as a powerful older man with a long beard who holds a stylus in his right hand and is seated by a sphinx symbol of wisdom. A young man holding a leading staff in his right hand while his left hand rests upon a great sword represents "Government"- the executive power. "Justice" is represented by a young woman seated in a lion throne, who tests the scales in the balance to demonstrate the purely judicial function of weighing one cause against the other. "Liberty" is represented as a young woman wearing the traditional Phrygian cap of red, but is otherwise dressed in two shades of green, the color of youth and hope. Her right hand guards the ballot box while her left hand points upward.

As you can see, Liberty is the foundation of all power in a free country and Justice tests the scales in the balance to demonstrate the purely judicial function of weighing one cause against the other.....that's what this past week has all been about.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foggy Day

Today, the view from my kitchen window shows my favorite oak tree shrouded in fog.

It's definitely a day to stay inside by the fireplace (I do LOVE my gas fireplace!) So, I spent a lazy hour reading The Recipe Club, a novel about food and friendship. Which, of course, made me hungry. I rumbled through all my old recipe cards and discovered my old Girl Scout recipe for Streusel Filled Coffee Cake and, within an hour, I was eating this yummy coffee cake, sipping a huge cup of Dunkin' Donut's coffee and back to reading my book!

So many of my recipes were given to me by my mother. They've gotten brown and faded over time but I treasure them nonetheless! My mother passed away 22 years ago but just looking at these recipes, written in her hand, makes me smile!

Streusel Filled Coffee Cake

Mix together thoroughly:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Sift Together and add into above:
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping Ingredients
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons flour
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch pan. Mix sugar, shortening/butter, and egg thoroughly. Stir in milk. Combine and sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl Add to sugar, shortening/butter, egg, and milk. Stir together.

Spread half of the batter in pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Add the remaining batter and sprinkle the top with the rest of the streusel.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
~Rosemonde Gerard

Happy Valentine's Day To You All!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

To Curtain or Not to Curtain...That Is The Question

My intention was to leave all my lovely windows free from blinds or curtains. But, it's looking like I will need something at this window as the morning sun shines right on my new sofa.


Dinner Perhaps?

They're getting braver....this big fellow was right next to the house!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sweet Baby Boy!

This morning at 2:05 a.m. our daughter gave birth to a healthy 9 lb, 22" baby boy! She was scheduled to be induced later today but this little guy decided not to wait!

Everyone is tired and happy! Time for bed!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Will It Be Pink or Will It Be Blue?

Burp pads. Lots of burp pads. I could NOT make enough burp pads for my daughter's last two sweet babies--both boys. They were definitely spitters!

This time around I've changed the style a bit and even made some PINK ones just in case we hear "It's a Girl!!"

We're Having a Baby Basket

Our third grandchild will be born very soon! In preparation for each delivery I've put together a "We're Having a Baby Basket" to take to the hospital. Though it's not finished yet, here's a peak at the most recent one.


I guess the weatherman wasn't kidding when he forecast 12" to 18" of snow for our area!

Our driveway is winding and long. So, today, the fellow who plows for us earned every penny! Mr. Amazing was a happy man!