Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Having Gingerbread Dreams?

Making a gingerbread house is no simple task  : they take several sessions, or gatherings:
 - one to make the dough and the pattern pieces
 - one to roll out the dough and bake the pieces
 - one to assemble the pieces
one to decorate.

 The joy is really in the making, of the coming together to work on all the steps that are required to build a gingerbread house from scratch.

Here's a repeat of  last year's tutorial on how to design and bake a "Gingerbread Brownstone," Click HERE

If you are short on time and want to impress your guests with a flavorful treat, Kim Jessup is baking pies again! 

  Click here for more info and how to order

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah...Kwanzaa...Joyeux Noel...and all that!

  - Mari

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Capellini con Salsicce

2 - 28 ounce cans of organic crushed tomatoes with basil
28 ounces of free range chicken broth (or water)
2 - mild chicken Italian sausage links
1 - spicy chicken Italian sausage link

Place tomatoes and chicken broth (or water) in a pot.
Squeeze chicken sausage from its casing into little nuggets, dropping them right into the sauce.
Cook over medium-high heat until it begins to boil (approximately 10-15 minutes.)
Lower flame and simmer for one hour, to allow the spices in the sausage to flavor the sauce.

Prepare capellini (angel hair) according to package instructions.
Serve with shredded parmesan (mild) and/or romano cheese (sharp.)

Experiment with different flavor sausages - turkey sausage will give a slightly different, denser flavor. If you prefer your sauce mild, use all mild sausages - if you prefer spicy, use all spicy!
 Serves 4

This recipe is easily adapted to more servings - for every two additional servings, add
1 can crushed tomatoes, 1/2 can (14 oz.) free range chicken broth (or water) and 1 to 1 1/2 sausage links

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Attn: hysterical, overprotective parents - the above cartoon is a "JOKE"- Jokes are usually accompanied by LAUGHTER....

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Food for Thought : High Line Park

Every once in a while I come across something really cool that I just have to share.
This past week, I came across a couple of videos about the High Line Park in NY, which was inspired by a photo essay of an abandoned train tressle that had been scheduled for demolition, but was then saved and transformed into a park.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

County Meeting Recap : Why I Care

I had a meeting with our County Supervisor, Steve Kinsey, this past week. It was, of course, mostly about the proposed sidewalk for Evergreen.
During our conversation, I explained that when I first found out about the project, I thought the sidewalk might be a good idea.
But that was before I knew :
- how it happened that a concrete sidewalk for Evergreen could be so far along in the process before we, who live on the street, found out about it
- and before I noticed what it was doing to our community's sense of place and my neighbors' spirit
- and before I realized that most people in our neighborhood don't want this sidewalk.
- and that was before I found out that our street had a 100% safety record
- and before I discovered we live in an area designated as "semi-rural" and our community plan states "...we do not encourage sidewalks, curbs and gutters in the planning area."
And that was WAY before I found out about storm water runoff  -
and that Reed Creek is what they call a "blue line" creek.
- and that the County was trying to skip environmental review...

After about an hour meeting with us going back and forth, Mr. Kinsey said "People adapt to change...They'll get used to the sidewalk." As I left, Mr. Kinsey noted that I have put a lot of energy into this, and he asked me WHY I care so much.
 -- I care because it makes no moral sense to take a million dollars from the Safe Routes to Schools fund  - just so a few people in Mill Valley can have a more convenient walk to a yogurt store.
 -- I care because it makes no sense to destroy already existing paths to build a concrete sidewalk all along the whole street  -- when clearing a path on a part of the street that has no path will suffice.
 -- I care because it doesn't make much sense to change an area of the street with a 100% safety record to be more like an area of a street where there was an accident - especially if the goal is to create a "safer route..."
 -- I care because it doesn't seem legal or moral to skip environmental review for "existing facilities" - when no such existing facilities exist -  especially when the "facility" you are proposing to build is going to dump more pollutants into a blue line creek (that contains a federally protected species of fish.)
We should be figuring out how to REDUCE the storm water runoff and RESTORE the creek habitat, not make it worse.
I know I'm not the only one who cares.
I'm just one of the few who hasn't given up yet...

Related Posts :

this blog post was edited on 8/10/2013

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Food for Thought : Ode to the Pothole : Just add "Dirt!"

I watched "dirt! the movie" for the third time this week. I highly recommend it.

An ode to potholes, from my eco friends at Grist:
"In the interests of health and safety, if potholes are going to be unattended risks, why not mark them with style like Steve Wheen, London’s pothole gardener? Wheen regularly creates miniature versions of the English garden, adapted to such small spaces with kamikaze grace.
Indeed, make them monuments, green them up — or, more purposefully, fence them off — as yet another pocket of reclaimed guerrilla urbanism. Make those nasty, cordoned-off potholes what they already are: untouchable neighborhood open space, some suitable for dog walk way-stations (with scoopers, plastic bags, and special disposal containers), others for green space with exotic vegetation, or traffic-calming devices of various shapes and sizes.
Such altered potholes could become the new traffic-calming “woonerfs” — those shared spaces in intersections or roadsides borrowed from the Dutch, and already present in some Seattle neighborhoods. Woonerfs make us drive slower, as we must navigate around them to get from here to there, and they are often aimed at increased pedestrian presence on autocentric streets. Think of woonerfs — and the new pothole mini-parks — as Park(ing) Day on steroids.
And that’s the point. Potholes could be permanent, in a good way — which might just accelerate some people’s desired evolution away from the car." (source : GRIST


Monday, February 20, 2012

Food for Thought : Out of the Mouths of Anonymous

Most days, my inbox is overflowing to capacity -  but every once in a while, something just jumps out at me.  In this case, it was Mike Masnick's blog post  :  Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt : "The most insightful comment of the week won by a wider margin than any I've ever seen before. I actually think this comment may have received more votes than any other comment on the site ever. And it's from an Anonymous Coward (who says anonymous comments are bad?), in response to another insightful comment...What did get votes aplenty was this response from an Anonymous Coward who laid out why governments view the internet and free speech as a threat, and why free speech as a principle is more important than most people realize:

"I'd rather live in a world where global transparency and honesty is more important than my personal safety - we stand a better chance of surviving the future that way."

Think about it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Empathy 101

I do a lot of research in the Social Enterprise field . Ashoka is an organization doing great work. This video struck me as relevant to the Evergreen sidewalk issue, so I thought I'd share.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Strolling On Evergreen, and Montford

OK - last week we discussed "walking" on Evergreen.
This week, we'll tackle women with strollers.
I've taken a random sampling : 6 different times of day, different sized strollers, mostly women.

2 weeks ago : Evergreen resident : Young mother of two, with a newborn :
Vicinity of sampling : near Hawthorne at Evergreen
Q:  Have you heard about the sidewalk proposed for Evergreen?
A : A little bit , I haven't heard that much about it. Mrs. Oldenburg mentioned there might be a sidewalk.

Q: Have you ever felt unsafe on Evergreen with a stroller? "No"
Q: Any general thoughts?
A : "I don't think we need a sidewalk."
Q : If they build the sidewalk, would you use it? "No"

2 weeks ago : lady, listening to her headphones, smiling, strolling along :  Saturday
Q: Do you have any problems using a stroller on Evergreen?
A: (she smiled and shook her head) "No." 

Friday - a banner day! Three or four strollers on the street today - it's like a stroller highway! Street seems quiet today. I'm grateful for this amazing weather - lots of people out.
My first encounter, an au pair with  one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen in my life. We started chatting and I found out she was headed to the Community Center for a "Music Together" class.  Just LOVES the Community Center.
She started telling me how she loves walking on Evergreen - some of the words she used were "flat" "easy" "safe." We continued along and I took a photo (I asked first, or course! ) She was using a B.O.B. stroller - that seems to be the popular brand.  We then headed toward Montford. I'm adding those notes to my Montford notes.
I came back around and ran into another mama - with a double wide! We had a nice chat, and I asked her to make notes. 

So - there you have it. If you all think we need that 9,000 square feet of concrete to make Evergreen safer for strollers - you might want to re-think that one. But hey - what do I know - I just LIVE here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walking On Evergreen

As I walk along Evergreen with my dog, Lucy, I meet many new neighbors. A few weeks ago, I met a lovely woman who lives on Reed. During our conversation, I asked her what her thoughts were on the "sidewalk issue." Being that she was a senior, and since one of "selling points" of this project has been that "it will help seniors" - I was a bit surprised when she said she was not in favor of the sidewalk "at all." During our conversation, we introduced ourselves, and she recognized my name from some of Mr. Sands' emails. Also, during our conversation, we both agreed that we didn't want a raised sidewalk on Evergreen Avenue, but we didn't want to be overcome with anger about it.
So, I did some research and found an article on how to "honor" anger :
 "Anger is a very powerful emotion that can be used in many positive ways to motivate us toward change, to strengthen us against our adversaries and to protect us against pain. Anger warns us that there is a problem or a potential threat. At the same time, it energizes us to face the problem or meet the threat and provides us with the power to overcome the obstacle..." 

"Forgiveness is not a self-righteous or Polyanna-like turning of the other cheek or a condoning of abhorrent behavior. Neither is it forgetting..."