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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Taco Night

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Thanks to Friends and Farms.

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My first ever fish tacos thanks to the themed basket this week. Mahi mahi. Cilantro. Red cabbage. I did cheat and use Roots market salsa fresco instead of the tomatoes, garlic, onion and radishes in the basket.

I did use their recommended recipes to find a good sauce for the tacos. A take on a tartar sauce, but slightly different.

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The recipe calls for mayo, sriracha and honey. I used mayo, taco seasoning that I made myself, and agave. Hey, you use what you have.

Mix it to your taste preference. I like it spicy. My taco seasoning, which is my chili mix, uses cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, unsweetened chocolate, salt, pepper and chipotle powder. It’s just a container full of whatever looks interesting. Variety is truly the spice of life around here.

As for the mahi, sprinkled with the seasoning and grilled in olive oil.

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I got the corn taco shells at Wegmans. We also made sirloin tacos with the other protein in the basket.

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I hear a few people whined about the lack of produce in this week’s basket. It is the beginning of January. I thought they did a great job giving us some fun items to use to cook. We got hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes from a high tunnel, radishes, red cabbage, cilantro, apples, eggs, bread, sirloin, mahi mahi, and the larger baskets got cheese.

I was happy. But then who wouldn’t be after tacos with Yuengling.

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Who can resist? Supporting a local business and a brewery from my husband’s home county in PA.

Fun for the Whole Family

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I hear the pileated woodpeckers are back. At the Howard County Conservancy, this Saturday at 10AM at the free program, Backyard Birding, you just might get to see them.

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I took this picture a few years back when I was leading a program in November. Winter is the best time to find the birds, when the leaves are off the trees.

I was visiting with the program leaders Wednesday. They tell me they have all sorts of great things lined up for this weekend. The program will be given by two Howard County Bird Club members. Additionally, one of the children’s favorite hike leaders, Caroline Kosisky will have activities for the younger attendees. Bird related activities, but geared to the preschool set.

The other attendees will get the chance to use binoculars and a couple of birding scopes to look for those elusive woodpeckers.

Most of the program will be done upstairs above the Nature Center. There, protected from the cold and wind, through the large windows, you are at tree height. Just above the feeders.

The program leaders, Robin Todd and Sue Muller have lots planned for those who want to come out and learn more about how to attract birds to your yard, and how to identify them by sounds and sight.

If we’re lucky the woodpeckers will show up, since we will be indoors. They won’t know we are behind those glass walls.

If not, you will definitely find some of our abundant local birds.

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Like the bickering blue jays trying to find the heaviest peanuts while trying not to share. You never know what you might see.

A White Little Christmas

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So, on the Feast of the Epiphany we get snow. About 4-5 inches on my patio table. That’s the best place to measure it. At least we have the luxury of not having to commute anymore.

For me, January 6th is the final day to leave the Christmas decorations up. Before we do that recycling thing and take down the tree, to drop it off at one of the Merry Mulch sites in the county.

My problem this year?

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The tree is still fresh looking, isn’t dropping needles, and it’s just hard to take it apart yet. At least I have until the 16th to make it to a Merry Mulch site, or if I’m still loving it, we just will haul it to the landfill wood waste area for it to be mulched.

As for the rest of the decorations.

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There’s something magical about those tiny white lights out there with the snow in the background. I think they will stay up a little longer too. Besides, the good excuse is how cold it will be for the next couple of days. Way too cold to try and wrestle down those nets of lights.

On this 12th day of Christmas, I think I’ll go open the last pint of Eggnog and play Christmas music one more time.

Getting Out There

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In the middle of winter. I just checked the upcoming events page, and there are quite a few activities at the Howard County Conservancy, where I volunteer.

Belmont January 6, 13, 20- Pre-school Programs: Nature’s Song- with Conservancy naturalists. Celebrate nature with your preschooler! Hike, sing, dance and craft. For children ages 3-5 with a parent/caregiver. JAN 6,13 & 20- Tuesdays 10am $10/class.

Mt. Pleasant January 10- Backyard Birding with Robin Todd & Mike Kerwin. JAN 10- Saturday 10am FREE.

Belmont January 17- Saving the Places We Love with Ned Tillman. JAN 17- Saturday 10am FREE.

Mt. Pleasant January 24- Wildflowers in the Understory: A Perspective on “Painting” with Nature’s Light with photographer/curator Jackie Bailey Labovitz. JAN 24- Saturday 7pm $.

Mt. Pleasant — Wildflower Photography Gallery Show JAN 21 through MAR 13- Wed. through Sat. 9am-3pm. please call before visiting.

Mt. Pleasant – January 27 Volunteer Open House, looking for new volunteers to help with the expanding programs and field trips. 9:30-11 AM.

Belmont January 31- Youth Bird Count with Sue Muller. JAN 31- Saturday 9am FREE


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With two sites now, there is something most weekends, and a few week day events. I hope the weather cooperates for our three volunteer hikes that allow us to get out and stretch our legs. Tomorrow may be dicey though, if it decides to snow.

As for events, I am particularly interested in seeing Ned Tillman’s event out at Belmont.

See you out there, I hope.

Under Construction

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My Small Business Page. I put it up so I could monkey around with the formatting and figure out the grouping. I am adding links daily, and will keep up the posting to highlight areas as I finish looking into them.

Who knew? I have dozens, maybe the possibility of over a hundred links for companies that I have used for everything from septic clean out to landscaping to small engine repair to knife sharpening.

I did days of research looking to see what was out there from local governments and organizations. Very little about the small businesses around here. Even on the HCEDA page, unless you want to count agriculture, where we seem to do a good job.

I finally found this site, to get me started on more research. It contained some listings I didn’t know about, but is missing dozens of them. It is a commercial site.

Bottom line, at the moment, this is much larger and more intense than I expected.

For example, take garden centers, greenhouses and nurseries. I know of Frank’s, Grandfather’s, Greenway Farms, Sharps Farm, River Hill, and Ten Oaks Nursery. I’ve used all of them.

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Now, I just have to sort out what I have and arrange it all in a meaningful fashion.

Forty Years!

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In Howard County. Today is my fortieth anniversary of moving here.

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Thirty in Columbia. Well, sort of. 23 of those were in an out parcel. Almost ten in west county.

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I have to admit. I love west county far more than Columbia. The wide open spaces. The really polite (not just civil) people. The neighborliness.

Like when neighbors stopped to see if everything was OK after the hurricane. And, the derecho. And those tropical storms.

I have seen lots of changes in Columbia and Howard County. Like the transformation of the Rouse Building.

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Into Whole Foods.

I lived in Wilde Lake. 1975-1977. Long Reach. 1977-1979. Owen Brown. 1979-1982. Harper’s Choice (sort of, we had green street signs). 1982-2005. Here in west county. 2005-present.

All in all, it’s a great place to live.