Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bonne Fete Nationale du Quebec!

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Saint Jean-Baptiste, the patron saint of the Province of Quebec.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Food From Another Planet?

It was a brave (or really, really hungry) person who took a look at this and said, "MMMM that looks like it would be something good to eat!"  I saw it and said, "WOW look at that freaky-ass vegetable--I gotta get that on my blog!"
The young man that sold it to me said it is an Indian Bitter Melon and (surprisingly) it is very bitter.  And apparently it is good for ya too.
I'll have to check around and find a recipe that uses it and if I survive I'll post about it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Meet Charlie

This is Charlie, one of the stray cats that has been hanging around Fartwood Manor for the last six months or so. FatCat is still around passing the time between the three houses on my street. MomCat--not preggers as originally thought--just fat-- is still camped out under the deck, but getting bolder (and not in a good way). Black Irish must have found a better gig, since I haven't seen him for a few months. 
Charlie is such a cutie that we were hoping he'd calm down a bit and be a little more accepting of us. Lately, he's come up to the back patio door but retreats once I go there to dish out the food. The other night I accidentally left the slider open and was in the next room at the computer. I looked up an there was Charlie in the tee-vee room checking out the Laker game. I kept still and he wandered around the house for about 30 minutes. He just quietly sat there looking at me sitting at my desk. I had to take this photo so Dale would believe me that he had actually come into the house.
Last night when we got home, Charlie and MomCat were eagerly waiting for some food. Dale left the door open and eventually Charlie came in again. Dale found some catnip left over from HellCat and put that out and Charlie rolled around in it and had a good time, but eventually got spooked and ran out. 
I hope he gets mellowed out and wants to stay with us.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's Donut Day!

First, it is Accordion Month and today it is Donut Day! Life is good.
Life is going to get even better this afternoon--I'm going for a weekend in SanFrancisco! Dale has been up there all week and I will join him for the weekend. Hard to believe we've never been there together, so it will be fun to do some exploring. Saturday's agenda includes a trip to Alcatraz. I hope to check out the Ferry Building Farmers' Market too.
But first, I think I'll have a donut.
UPDATE: Turns out this Donut Day thing is a real deal not just some crazy idea made up by some marketing guy at Dunkin Donuts. It is a time to honor the Doughboys of WWI and the Salvation Army Lassies who provided these sweet treats during the dark days of wartime. Thank goodness we don't have to make donuts in Army helmets anymore!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Accordion Awareness Month!

It is always Accordion Awareness Month at my house, but this month it is official. So, in honor of Accordion Awareness Month, I have put together a little podcast showcasing just a tiny bit of the diverse music styles that feature accordions. It's not your grandfather's accordion music anymore! Sure, everybody thinks accordions equal polka music...but pretty much all cultures have some sort of squeezy-box. The rising popularity of world music is bringing all this good stuff to more ears. 

Click here to check out the podcast. Here's a little bit of info about the songs that are included:

The ever-awesome (and Grammy award-winning!) Brave Combo gives an old standard polka a totally new sound. 

Nortec Collective from Mexico brings the traditional sound of accordion to the alternative beats.

Cajuns like Bruce Daigrepont are famous for using accordions.

Texas is home to a huge Czech population that brought the polka music with them from the old country and morphed it with the twangy country music.

Chicha music is a freaky psychedelic mix of Peruvian, Columbian, Andean sounds that began in the late 70's. Chicha Libre is a contemporary band from the US that re-introduced this genre.

Gogol Bordello kicks ass with their over-the-top Gypsy punk.

The rest of the list are the kinds of traditional polkas that I grew up listening to.

And of course I had to put some Weird Al in here!

This is by no means a complete list of accordion music...just some of the bands and songs I like. If you want to explore the wonderful world of accordions, check out Let's Polka, a treasure trove of all things accordion.

My cousin Kathleen took this awesome photo of her husband Mark and his accordion. He serenades her (and sometimes the squirrels) every day.