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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Today, an experiment in animation. Thinking of my mom, my other moms, and all the mothers out there who help us grow.

Design concept and elements adapted from Garden tools set by pch.vector, and Garden illustration by macrovector via freepik, and Monarch Butterfly Insect and Animal Butterfly via Pixabay

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Photo by Uljana Maljutina on Unsplash

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There is a lot of trouble in the world right now, but we are not helpless. We are not hopeless. And if there’s any better way to remember that today than Star Wars, I don’t know it. Just thinking of the theme song raises my spirits. Here’s to building a better future. 

For motivation, check out this piece on the history of John Williams’ rousing theme:

Behind The Song: “Star Wars Theme” by John Williams – American Songwriter

And then, of course, there’s our scrappy band of Rebels.

“Would it help if I got out and pushed?”

— Princess Leia

Always.

May the Force be with us.

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via Pixabay 

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One day a little country girl bunny with a brown skin
and a little cotton-ball of a tail said, “Some day I shall
grow up to be the Easter Bunny: you wait and see!”
Then all of the big white bunnies who lived in fine houses,
and the Jack Rabbits with long legs who can run fast,
laughed at the little Cottontail and told her to go
back to the country and eat a carrot.
But she said, “Wait and see!”

— Du Bose Heyward, Majorie Flack (ill.), The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes 1939

When it comes to life’s challenges, may you (like my favorite Easter bunny) be “wise, and kind, and swift.”

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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I saw my first flower buds yesterday, in a planter filled with lovely little purple crocus plants. We still have a tiny bit of snow in the yard and my mother reports snow down south, but even so it’s starting to feel like spring. 

It’s good timing, too. Today is Økodag, or Dancing Cow Day in Denmark, when the country’s 200,000 organic cows leave their winter barns and head out to greener pastures. This year is extra special as the event has been on hold for the past two years.

Danes revel in ‘dancing cow day’ for first time since Covid outbreak

“The cows are so happy to be outdoors, to feel the sun and the wind, that they dance,” she said. “Out in the field, a cow can also go for her favourite dishes – grass, clover, various herbs etc.”

Happy spring!

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Photo by Luke Thornton on Unsplash

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On this day, eons ago, the brave Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee fulfilled their quest to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. And so it was decreed that March 25th would ever after be known as Tolkien Reading Day!

What does that mean?

Today is Tolkien Reading Day! – The Tolkien Society

And as an extra bonus, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Estate Releases Treasure Trove Of Drawings And Maps.

See those maps and more here: Maps – The Tolkien Estate.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

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Photo by Martin Jernberg on Unsplash

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Thanks to my step-mother, I am ever-so-marginally Irish-adjacent, so today I give you all a lucky four-leaf clover. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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It’s in there, just keep looking! Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

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Today’s date is 2.22.22. It’s a palindrome, which reads the same forwards and backwards, and for an extra level of cool it’s also a Tuesday.

Happy Twosday! Why numbers like 2/22/22 have been too fascinating for over 2,000 years

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Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

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I can’t share the lemon meringue pie I made for Valentine’s Day, but I can share three free books from Tor.com.

Download Tor.com’s BUNDLE O’ LOVE — Before February 19th! | Tor.com

You’ll need to sign up for Tor’s free e-book club, which means they’ll offer you a free book every month. I don’t mind that. (Yes, they’ll use your email to promote other books but you can always use a throw-away address if you don’t want to hear from them.)

This bundle is only available for the next few days but if you haven’t read these titles it’s a great opportunity for three good books.

Especially Murderbot. Because everyone loves Murderbot.

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Photos by Maximalfocus and Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

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I recently tried a variation on the previously-posted tofu chocolate pudding recipe, based on Mark Bittman’s Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding. It uses simple syrup, which makes it easy to add any flavor boosters you might like. I took the opportunity to make both plain for the pudding and a batch of passion fruit syrup to try with caramelized white chocolate later. (I may also try this with maple syrup. Go Canada!)

This recipe is gluten and lactose free (vegan too, depending on your chocolate). Don’t let that deter you, the final result is rich and creamy.

Right now I’m only able to find silken tofu in Tetra Pak boxes that hold 12.3 ounces and the easily available chocolate comes in 6 ounce packages, so I tweaked the recipe to match. I also left out Bittman’s cinnamon and chili but that version’s good too.

And hark, Valentine’s Day approacheth!

If your local store has silken tofu and decent chocolate it’s hard to find a quicker, easier dessert that’s still delicious. (It’s also possible to use the pudding as pie filling with a graham cracker crust, but I haven’t tried that yet.)

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Tofu Chocolate Pudding v2.0

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 oz. silken tofu, firm
  • 6 oz good chocolate, dark to semisweet
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Heat sugar and water over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
  2. Blend all ingredients together until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Chill for at least 30 minutes, although longer gives a denser texture. Serve straight, or with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Serves four. Or two. Or one. You’ll find no judgment here.

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Photo by Max Griss on Unsplash

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According to my local bird store, today is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Now, I’m fairly sure that the local squirrels object to being relegated to just one day, but given the monopoly they have over the neighborhood feeders, I think they’ll get along fine.

To avoid the possibility of a Great Squirrel Uprising (TM) however, I have arranged to send one squirrel to a resort and spa for the day.

Yes, this was a rush job. No, you will not get extra nuts with dinner!
Photos by big.tiny.belly on Unsplash and maja777 on Pixabay.

Also bird seed. Works every time.

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