Posted by missjunebug on June 27, 2010
missjunebug loves to learn about all sorts of things online, no doubt just like her readers do. This weekend she hit the motherload! She read an article in her local Sunday paper that lead her straight to one of the coolest online teachers she’s run across, and believe her when she says she’s done her share of online learning from the videos atÂ lynda.com for techy stuff to the weighty academicearth.org for lectures from the hallowed halls of our most esteemed universities.
But the one she discovered this weekend sets itself apart by being so fully engaging and captivating that missjunebug can’t wait to work her way through the more than 1500 lessons online in subjects including math (not missjunebug’s fav), economics, chemistry, physics, history, current financial topics, and many others. The eponymous online site www.khanacademy.org translates Sal Khan’s love of learning into an open academy for the whole planet. missjunebug enjoyed his lively instruction about the French Revolution (Part I & II), making her way all the way through the Reign of Terror in one short evening! She can hardly wait to get to the lesson featuring that rascal Napoleon Bonaparte!
According to the news article missjunebug read, Sal just wants to teach the way he himself would like to be taught. A simple, but brilliant idea, Mr. Khan! missjunebug would expect nothing less coming from an M.I.T. graduate in Computer Science with an M.B.A. from Harvard. (Smarty pants!) Keep up the good work and think about branching out to literature study, one of missjunebug’s personal favs. If you can explain those pesky word problems, no doubt you’ll have no problem analyzing great literature!!
Posted by missjunebug on June 23, 2010
missjunebug recently mentioned the sad red tag affixed to their gate by the local fire department. Bummer x 10. Â The junebugs failed their weed abatement test, but they are getting closer to the all clear. missjunebug had an epiphany while rolling a gianormous weed bale down a hill. Take pictures of the results! Why? To remember in detail why she does not want to do this next year. Yes, it was good exercise. Yes, it saved some money. Yes, the weather was great, not too hot, not too cold, just right while she and Mr.JB continued the endless whacking and stacking.
But do it again next year? Not a chance. She can appreciate first hand how hard the life of manual labor is and she gives all kudos to those who do this kind of work five days a week, week after week. Truly admirable. But once a year is enough and she would prefer nonce.
She did learn one more thing while she was taking pictures for this little Weed Abatement Photo Essay: She loves everything about where she and Mr.JB live, yes, even the weeds. Really? Really? you say. Okay, maybe not the weeds. But the weeds whacked and stacked. That she loves.
Not Quite Monet: Stacks of Pampas Grass Detritus. Photo by mjb2010
Hey What's That Coming in for a Landing? Weedy UFO? Photo by mjb2010
Creepy Close-Up of Weed Stack! Do you see a face? Photo by mjb2010
Why the junebugs Live Here: the View! Photo by mjb2010
Holy Relic from Holey Barn? Photo by mjb2010
missjunebug's Arty Shot of the Day. Can You Spot the Moon? Photo by mjb2010
Posted by missjunebug on June 22, 2010
Mr.JB's Happy Licorice People Right Before...You Know! Photo by mjb2010
Mr.JB and missjunebug have been married a really, really long time and have no plans of walking the sad path recently taken by Al and Tipper and some other long marrieds-soon divorced that they know. Is it something in the water? missjunebug isn’t sure. What she is sure of is that over time she and her Mr.JB are becoming more and more alike which turns out not to be a bad thing since they started out many, many years ago as complete opposites. He’s science-y; she’s word-y. He’s a relentless perfectionistic; she’s lives by the 80%/20% rule: that is, 80% is plenty good enough in most things most of the time. He’s methodical, always; she’s haphazard, on a good day. He loves licorice like no other; she couldn’t stand the stuff.
Yes, that’s right. missjunebug once hated licorice with all her little bug heart. When she was an itty bitty bug, she could never have imagined digging into a bag of licorice All Sorts or Harry & David Tuxedos or multi-colored Licorice Snaps or black as night Scottie Dogs, not to mention eating pink and white Mike and Ike’s. The idea revolted her. Now missjunebug could fall back on her De gustibus non es disputandum motto here very easily, but the fact is that even though one cannot account for taste, missjunebug has learned that tastes do change over time. How does this happen? missjunebug has no idea. But there it is. missjunebug over the past couple of years has developed a deep and abiding love for licorice.
She suspects that it originally had to do with scarcity. She’d run out of everything fun and sweet to eat that she favored (Junior Mints, Kit Kat Bars, M&M’s Peanut, Reese’s Pieces, Cherry Sours–the list goes on and on) and resorted to trying “just one, please” piece of licorice that Mr.JB had methodically rationed to himself for an after dinner treat. It was not love at first bite. But it was sweet enough to be interesting and not nearly as revolting as missjunebug remembered from her childhood. This little scenario replayed itself enough times that missjunebug eventually acquired a taste for what was once the untasteable.
And really, really liked it. Maybe missjunebug was able to set aside her deep and abiding childhood loathing of licorice just long enough to give it a try and another try, and then another. Now she and Mr.JB delight in sharing the enjoyment of a sweet treat they both find tasty.
Things can change. Tastes can change. And yes, marriages break up, even 30 or 40 year ones. But sometimes marriages of opposites can celebrate all the ways in which a couple have come to reside happily in the Â ”if ever two were one, then surely we” category!
Now, Mr.JB, hand missjunebug that bag of Scottie Dogs, pronto!
Posted by missjunebug on June 19, 2010
Vintage Father's Day Present for Mr.JB from A Long Day Ago! Photo by mjb2010
ElderJB and TinyJB Agree! Photo by mjb2010
missjunebug wishes her Mr.JB the best Father’s Day ever because as the wise cup proclaims he is the best! She’s sure her Elder JB and TinyJB agree!
He will have to be patient for his big present though. It’s still on order: a beautiful chaise lounge for relaxing. He will need it after all that heinous weed-wacking. Sadly, the junebugs were red tagged by the local fire department and must continue to fight back those waist-high weeds with all they’ve got: weed wacker, clippers, mower, rakes, and pitchforks! Happily, the end is in sight and before long Mr.JB will be luxuriating in his 2010 model Tropitone comfy chaise lounge complete with wheels! Happy Father’s Day, Mr.JB.!! missjunebug hearts you BIG TIME.
What’s the bittersweet part of Father’s Day? It’s missjunebug’s first without her dear departed JBDad. She’s been making or sending Father’s Day cards to him for more that half a century. This year, sadly, she has been permanently relieved of that daughterly duty. She misses this love-filled ritual. But even more, she misses him. Just for the earthly record, Happy Father’s Day, JBDad! Love you forever.
Posted by missjunebug on June 17, 2010
Tiny Tomato Turns on a Dime! Photo by mjb2010
Last year around this time missjunebug was eulogizing her Tomato Sadness. Only half of her homegrown tomato looked good enough to eat. The underbelly was ulcerated and grim and looked like something she might find on the kitchen counter of TinyJB’s former abode (recently cited as a nuclear waste hazard).
But this year is different!
missjunebug has found Tiny Tomato Happiness growing cherry tomatoes! (Thanks for the tip, lovely r.h.!) The one pictured above is the runt of the litter, but it’s a perfectly round and healthy runt! mjb is looking forward to a full harvest of cherry tomatoes that are just the right size.
In the meantime, missjunebug plans to add this tiny tomato to her Collection of Tiny Things! That is, until she adds a little s&p and pops it into her mouth!
Posted by missjunebug on June 14, 2010
As the devoted mother of ElderjB and TinyJB, missjunebug can’t help but wonder What if? when she thinks of Abby Sunderland, the intrepid 16-year old round-the-world-or-bust sailor. What if Abby hadn’t been rescued? What if she had died in that interminable stretch of ocean between Africa and Australia? What would her parents be saying to the media if such a tragedy had occurred? Call missjunebug a worrywart after the fact, but she can’t help but wonder.
Of course, missjunebug is as delighted as all the fans who support Team Abby must be that she was picked up without incident by the French fishing vessel (Viva La France!). Still. Was it worth the risk?
Without a moment’s hesitation, her father says they would do it all again if given the chance. Hmmm. missjunebug looks askance at that glib response. This coming from a man who by his own admission is “broke” and recently inked a television deal for Adventures in Sunderland (catchy name, Mr. S!) that will encourage kids to try new adventures. Really? Really? Now missjunebug thinks there’s adventure and then there’s foolhardiness. She’ll let you figure out which category she thinks Abby’s quest fits in.
missjunebug wishes Abby and the Sunderlands well with the multimedia blitz that will no doubt follow them where ever they go: Interviews! Televisions Shows! Book Deals! Â This may be 15 minutes of fame x millions! Just in time, Sunderlands, with that baby on the way and that bank account so low!
Posted by missjunebug on June 9, 2010
Tiny Collection of Tiny Things! Photo by mjb2010
missjunebug has been cleaning out drawers and closets (again). She’s watched enough episodes of Hoarders on A&E (oxymoron that a show with that title would end up on that channel!) to scare her into taking action. Not as far gone as some of those pitiable people, she recognizes a few tendencies that are troubling. Stacks of magazines (Real Simple is a Real Culprit), projects held in abeyance (they might as well be cast in amber), and supplies for every random creative urge she’s ever had.
Progress is being made! But she has come across a few items with which she cannot part: Tiny Things!
Today’s blog post is a tiny homage to Tiny Things: Petite Pirate, Nifty Ninja, Small Ball, and perhaps the World’s Tiniest Pencil!
This stellar collection of Tiny Things has a special place in missjunebug’s kitchen, just hanging out with her while she tidies up or makes dinner. Despite their tiny size, they have cheered her in a big way. Sometimes she writes with the World’s Tiniest Pencil or sets up the Petite Pirate to fight with the Nifty Ninja. Small Ball is perfect for a quick round of table soccer to relieve a tiny bit of stress, and yes, missjunebug knows it’s a football. Duh.
So the magazines can be dissected for keeper pages, then tossed and the ambered projects can be recast and reinitiated or cast away, but the Tiny Collection of Tiny Things is here to stay.
Posted by missjunebug on June 4, 2010
A Plateful of Goodness: missjunebug's Homemade Breakfast Bars!! Photo by mjb2010
missjunebug has been comfort cooking lately and one of her fav comfort foods is a little breakfast treat called missjunebug’s Homemade Breakfast Bars which she adapted from a recipe given to her by one of her best students at the community college where she taught a long day ago.
missjunebug can’t say enough good things about these treats: grainy, sweet, easy to make and oh so easy to eat! Without further ado, missjunebug introduces you to
missjunebug’s Homemade Breakfast Bars
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (mjbTip: store in frig to keep fresh!)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
1/4 cup Kretschmer Wheat Germ (Also store in frig after opening!)
1 1/2 cups jam of your choice (mjbFavs: boisenberry, raspberry, red plum, and blackberry)
Cream butter and sugar until well blended in your Kitchen-Aid mixer…you have one, don’t you? Mix in remaining ingredients except for the jam.
Press down well 1/2 the mixture into a buttered-down 13″ X 9″ glass baking dish. Spread jam evenly over the top using an offset spatula for smooth and even distribution of the jam.
Top with remaining crumble mixture, pressing lightly.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until light brown. While warm, cut into bars, 2″ X 1 1/2.” As they cool, they will set up nicely.
Enjoy for breakfast with a big glass of milk or a warm cup of coffee. Delicious!! You’ll never need to buy Nutri-Grain bars again…no offense NG.