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Archive for October, 2011

Simple

Oh my! A quickly prepared meal can absolutely be super delicious! Greek yogurt with peaches, topped with raspberries. And toasted pieces of pita bread on the side. Ready to hit the morning running walking fast!

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This past week was filled not only with work but also time spent with old friends and new acquaintances. And, of course, there were delectable foods!

I attended the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) conference in Arlington, where I learned more about possible changes in our future. Ways to hopefully manage this most important program on our tighter budgets without harming the free access to government information it brings to all Americans.

This discussion spilled over into just about every conversation, even when we were supposed to be breaking from the meetings/educational sessions. When I happily talk about my work during “off” times, I realize what a fantastic fit this librarian gig is for me!

There was a coffee break with a friend from UNC at Chapel Hill. A breakfast buffet (yum!) with new friends from Louisiana. A cobb salad lunch with three members of the Depository Council and someone from GPO. A soup & salad meal and a steak dinner with a good friend from Kansas. Even though some of the time around the table was spent talking about books we’ve recently read, movies, and current events, there was always conversation regarding our libraries and how we are dealing with keeping services as viable as possible when money is disappearing from every direction.

Friday after leaving Nimitz Library, I took the metro back into DC to meet others from UNC at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science. Many were completing their first year and were in Washington visiting other libraries. Some were graduates like myself. We met at the BlackFinn on I Street NW where we, again, talked about libraries and the positions some of these students would like to find after graduating. Many seemed focused on public libraries – and I say, “Good for you!!” I love ’em, and we all benefit from public libraries, even if we each individually do not use them. Our country benefits from a more educated society, and public libraries play a major role in providing this education.

The BlackFinn was fun and loud and full of vibrant energy. Toward the end of our time there we were all having to yell at each other to be heard. But I did not mind – the liveliness of the place was almost as wonderful as the fried haddock I ordered (fish & chips plate). Not until I moved to Annapolis did I try haddock. I’ve decided it is one of my favorites, and this restaurant served some of the best. Must go back and have it again sometime. 🙂

No pictures of the haddock, but recently I put together a meal from the already prepared foods from Whole Foods, and I have a picture of that meal. Fried fish, fish cooked with sweet potatoes in a Thai coconut sauce, curried cabbage with white potatoes, piece of whole-wheat pita bread, small green salad with a lemon/olive oil/garlic dressing, then finished off with a vanilla cheesecake from their bakery. Probably one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever devoured! Thus, the reason for such a small salad. So glad I didn’t eat too much salad – may have interfered with my appetite for the cheesecake!!

This second picture is from the McPherson Square Occupy DC location, also on I Street NW. Took the picture of the person snoozing with the blanket over his/her head – a way to keep the sun out of the eyes! Thought it was a practical yet humorous move, but when I got home I realized it was also a snapshot of the Occupy’s library. The sign says: “Library! Feel free to take a book and bring it back to share when you’re done. Remember – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!” To which I reply – Absolutely!

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Yesterday morning I started with a rather protein-packed breakfast. And a carb-packed breakfast. And a fat-packed breakfast. OK OK!! It was a delicious-packed breakfast but not on the top 10 list of the most healthy. Yep! In the picture below you will see real country ham on that HUGE biscuit. Served with a little Virginia honey and a delicious fried egg. I cannot lie, it tasted SO fantabulous! I’m not really a pork fan, but lately I’ve craved ham biscuits. Go figure. And thanks to Cindy who hooked me up to some really good ham!

But then there was the Middle East Mosabahat al Khodar for later in the day. It was done by noon, but after that larger than normal breakfast, who could eat at noon? This dish calls for lots of veggies and two pounds of beef chunks, but I cut back on the meat and only used one-half pound. After searing the meat I added onions, tomatoes, winter squash, white potatoes, zucchini, and egg plant. There was garlic and extra onions (one of my favs!) Oh my was it delicious! And you can tell from my picture below I will have lots of it available to freeze for lunches!

There was also a small Lebanese salad with homemade yogurt and mint dressing, with a little olive oil drizzled over the top. And pita bread, of course, to sop up all the dressing and juices at the bottom of the bowl. Yes, my dinner in beautiful Lebanon this afternoon 🙂 was wonderful !

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Brrrrr…… cold in the apartment this morning. Just a little below 50 degrees and I’m lovin’ it! Drinking my morning’s first cup of Starbucks Colombia I brewed myself, feeling a little breeze from my open windows, sitting under covers on my comfy bed wearing a cozy LL Bean wool sweater I’ve had for several years. Now, does that sound like Heaven or what?!?

This past Friday I took a day off from work to complete writing the entry I submitted for a criminology encyclopedia to be published toward the end of 2012. I only wrote one this time, but maybe more next time? My father (the one who bought encyclopedias for our home when I was so very young) used to say that if you want to learn about something, plan to teach about it. I found that lesson to be so solidly true! And with all the researching that goes into one encyclopedia entry, the same came be said with this venture.

Soon after hitting the “send” box in my email account and officially finishing my entry, Alexis picked me up in her sharp little red Matrix and drove to Jo-Ann’s so I could purchase a few things to get started on sewing a few clothes for myself. My foray into fashion design. I haven’t sewed anything in almost 20 years, so I’m starting with simple. But it would be really nice to have a few things in a style I like, that fit very well, and made in fabrics that are ones of my own choice. My sewing machine is almost 40 years old, it seems to work fine, but I required needles, oil for the little motor, and a pattern for a tunic top. After a little more pondering this week, I will go back to purchase the perfect fabric!

After Jo-Ann’s, we met Wan at Austin Grill for some Tex-Mex and fun conversation. Took my camera to take pictures of our food (because if I’m not eating food I like to look at pictures and read about it), but got so excited about my fish tacos that I forgot all about it. Dang.

After dinner I bought Wild Orange Blossom Herbal Tea at Teavana and have since enjoyed some glorious cups of hot tea, loose leaf that I place in a little straining ball that belonged to my mom. Even though I lost out by not utilizing the camera, the experience still included friends, food, conversation, and laughter – what a grand way to end any week!

Yesterday I decided to cook and eat a little more adventurous, so I went through a Middle East cookbook I borrowed from a library and found a few dishes to try today. (If they turn out well, pictures will follow in another posting.) Alexis had mentioned the night before that she had a trip planned to Whole Foods today, so I called her to see if she could meet me there, we could shop, and eat something tasty together for a late lunch.

Oh how fun walking around the store buying a few special things! Honestly? I’m not sure which of us did the most talking! But we bought our goodies for cooking and goodies for lunch. Sat at one of their counters for about an hour or so and munched and talked. Pictures follow:


Now, Alexis is quite the health nut, too. She starts most days with yogurt and maybe an egg. But today was a “I need the protein of a burger and the tater tots just taste so dang good” day. But me? I was in a healthy salad mode. AND there were creamed potatoes involved, but that picture came out crummy and I really didn’t eat much of them. So the last picture is mine. But I must be honest; I ate about one third of her tater tots. I’m sure it was due to the little red devil sitting on my shoulder. Or was it both shoulders? 🙂

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