Brussels Slaw

So, I invented a slaw! While I love traditional cabbage-based coleslaw, it sometimes lacks a depth of flavors. Not so with a Brussells sprouts based slaw. I’m not going to list exact measurements, because I haven’t made this the same way twice, but it’s been great every time.

One thing that’s a constant, though, is that the Brussells sprouts need to be the main ingredient. Whatever else you put in, make sure there’s more sprouts than anything else. That’s where the complex, rich flavor comes from.

I cook low-sodium, so there’s no salt in my slaw. I don’t miss it, but you might, so season to taste if you wish.

Make sure all the vegetables are raw and fresh, and everything is finely chopped/shredded. The finer the shred, the more luxurious your slaw will be. The secret of slaw-ing the Brussells sprouts is this: Chop off the thick stem, then halve the raw sprouts. You’ll see a cone-shaped core at the stem end. Make a V-shaped cut to remove that. Yes, lots of leaves will fall off, but who cares? It’s all getting shredded. I shove the loose leaves to the side to fine-chop separately.

Flip your sprout-halves down on the cut side and slice as finely as possible. Or use whatever nifty modern device you might have to fine-slice them. I’m old-fashioned and use a sharp knife. (I love the process of preparing food by hand as much as I love eating it!)

INGREDIENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS

Brussells Sprouts prepared as described above. I’ve been using a couple dozen per batch. After shredding, I use my fingers to break up any slices that didn’t fall apart to be sure its as shreddy as possible.

Broccoli florets. JUST the bits on the end of the florets. Those little round things at the very end. That’s all you want in this slaw. Anything chunkier will interfere with that soft and silky slaw. Save the rest for a cream of broccoli puree or some-such. A quarter cupful will deepen the slaw’s flavor nicely.

Sweet white onion, finely chopped. Just a bit, a few tablespoons at most. This is for seasoning’s sake.

Radishes. I’ve been fine-chopping three large ones.

Carrots! Shred them with a box-shredder if you’re like me, or use your favorite device. Two small carrots have been working well for me.

Mix all the veggies thoroughly. Season them with garlic powder, black pepper and a bit of hot pepper flakes. Use as much of each as seems right to you, this slaw is NOT an exact science.

When you’re ready to serve, plop in just enough mayonnaise to coat everything. You want it creamy but not resembling mayonnaise soup. Mix with a fork very, very thoroughly.

Enjoy, and keep the bowl close by for seconds because you will want them.

An Island of Books

I recently set up a book shop on Book Island, a region in Second Life that celebrates books, readers, storytellers, authors – if it’s literary, it’s here. Come visit! I have a free book waiting for you, and a cozy chair to read it in. Book Island hosts many events, too – there’s author talks and readings, writing events to keep writers motivated, and lots of book shops like mine. My shop is located at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Book%20Island/196/248/496

Every shop needs a sign, and this is mine
The view in from the sidewalk. That little book on the tentacle table? It’s free! You can have one. I’ve also added a free gift box with fun things and informative notecards to that table now, too.
Cozy Kitty chairs are for you to curl up in, relax, and read.
I don’t have radiators, but I do have a steamy cookbook to cozy up the place.
The book shop that also fulfills all your circus cannon needs. The “No Boom Today” is for sale for a mere ten Lindens. Just click it and buy one. It’s made of high quality old-school mesh and prims. Antiques are cool, right?
And I had a blank spot on a wall, so I thought, why not sell a few of my classic boats? The Clean Getaway is a seaworthy bubble blowing bathtub, and the Over Easy is both driveable and delicious. It can be consumed if you become shipwrecked on a desert island.
On a cool Autumn night, step inside to warm up and rest.
The street outside my shop is a gathering place for literary events. Isn’t this a nice neighborhood?

Young Michigan Author’s Debut Novel is a Keeper

The Keeper Academy: The Legend of the Witch’s Woods is available for pre-order at Amazon, in either Kindle or paperback formats. M.E. Garrett is a talented teenage writer, and this is her debut novel. The book is an absorbing and thrilling Young Adult paranormal/romance adventure. Pre-order now and you’ll be cracking into chapter one on October 30th. Your pre-order will go a long way towards the book’s Amazon ranking on drop-day, too. Michiganders, she’s a local girl. Let’s support our ‘Gander teenage authors!

Frankenstein on Fantasy Faire Radio

“I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”
~ from Frankenstein, by Mary Wollenscroft Shelley

Frankenstein is back! Last year FFR partnered with Seanchai Library for a live broadcast of a radio drama adaptation of the Mary Shelley classic. Did we record it and produce it? You BET we did! We will be airing this 2-hour presentation twice, and you won’t want to miss it. The cast features Zander Greene, Elrik Merlin, David Abbot, Corwyn Allen, Caledonia Skytower, with Shandon Loring as Frankenstein’s Creation.

Saturday, October 19th beginning at 2pm slt
Sunday, October 20th beginning at 11am

The CocoaJava Cafe in New Babbage will be one of the venues hosting listening parties during both presentations. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Babbage%20Canals/38/75/106

The CocoaJava Cafe (A Writer’s Haven~A Reader’s Retreat~A Bohemian’s Rhapsody) is a casual Steampunk/Victorian literary coffeehouse. Authors and bookworms are often found lounging on floor pillows by the fireplace or sipping a drink at the cafe tables. The CocoaJava features a state of the art absinthe fountain, and red wine served from… well, it’s a pipe dream. Oh and mind the shop cat, he’s odd.

More information on listening parties will be posted closer to the broadcast date. Check the Fantasy Faire website for details as they emerge: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/

Or simply tune in and listen on your internet browser or network player at fantasy.radioriel.org, or http://streams.radioriel.org:8070/stream.

FRANKENSTEIN on Fantasy Faire Radio is sponsored by The Ravenheart Museum of Art, Culture, and Curious Things: home of The Complete Libertine Egg Collection by Alia Baroque – on display for the delight and enjoyment of all. Visit them at number 5 Siddal Street – on Rosehaven Laudanum: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rosehaven%20Laudanum/137/159/22

Timberrrrrr!

On Saturday, August 24, 2019, the largest tree in our yard, a Black Locust tree that might have been as old as our Eisenhower-era home, changed its stance from vertical to horizontal. Enjoy the ride – and click any pic to imbiggen it!

Friday, August 23, 2019. Last known living photograph of the deceased.


The intrepid team of After Hours Tree Service spent some time wandering the back yard, deciding where they wanted to lay the tree down. And darned if they didn’t put it EXACTLY where they planned to. They made it look easy. Chainsaw out a wedge facing in the direction of the fall, then go around and make a deep cut right behind that, and let gravity take over. The tree cracked twice, loudly – and the cliches are correct! It sounded like gunshot. I don’t have words to describe the sound of it slamming onto the lawn.

After The Fall: Comes the Chipping. Much less exciting and glamorous than the CRACK CRACK THUMP part. The guys cut small branches off the felled tree and fed them into an industrial chipper, which shot the chips into the back of that white truck.

The chipper was super-impressive… until it jammed. They had secret meetings, poked it a lot, drove off, came back, and then it was working again!

Cutting branches loose from a tree this large reminds me of sharks feeding off a dead whale. Sorry, I watch a lot of documentaries.

And when they went to cut the main trunk in half, BOING! The tree had other plans. I had no idea it was a spring-loaded tree, but that was fun to watch.
We’d requested that a few feet of stump be left intact, for future creative purposes. Incidentally, directly under that felled trunk are a bunch of hens and chicks plants. About half survived, and the other half were turned into Has-Been Hens and Chick-en McNothings.

Yep, that’s a rotten spot in the stump’s center. No worries, we have a cunning plan. It involves expanding foam. 😀 But first we’re going to let the stump dry out and settle. The roots are still trying to ‘feed the tree’. This may take a while. Stay tuned.

The view from my Girl Cave was a BIT different that day.

Chives watched everything from a safe spot with a great view. As you can tell by his body language, he was quite distraught. (He didn’t even flinch when the tree cracked and slammed onto the ground! That boy is fearless!)

What I’m Reading For Book Lovers Day 2019

I’ll be finishing “Absinthe, Alewives & Alchemy” by Kate Henriott and Ted Jauw today. I met the authors at a Michigan Steam Expo earlier this year, and found them both utterly delightful folk. Kate shared some of her homemade absinthe with me, and I really need to track her down again to buy a few bottles. We talked about heritage cooking, wine making, gardening and herbs, and I found so many connections with her. It took me a while to get to the book, and then it got set aside for a while, half-read, but it’s time to settle back in for the rest of the story, while sipping one of my own weird little recipes: a huge mug of boiling water laced with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, a LOT of cinnamon and honey. Lovely stuff and seems to awaken something in me.

You can have a sneak preview of the book below. What are you reading today?

Book Review: Raise the Stakes

Raise the Stakes
Aces High, Jokers Wild – Book 3
by O.E. Tearmann
Available in Paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com

It’s 2156. Corporations now control the people of what used to be the United States. And they’ve gone way too far.

But, there’s a Resistance. The Democratic State Force has pushed back for decades. And they’ve come up with an incredible plan: To free the people from a system that literally runs their lives by knocking out the Citizen Standing Score. Now, all the force needs is just the right team with enough smarts and guts to pull it off. Being a little crazy wouldn’t hurt, either.

It’s a mission custom-made for Base 1407. Every team member is brilliant in their assigned duty – and not a one of them lives up to society’s common expectations.

But even as the team puts in endless hours working on their game plan, they also strive to figure out who they are and what their lives mean—not only to themselves, but to others.

This is a ‘Mission Impossible’ style adventure caper, but it’s also an unflinching (and often smart-ass) examination of life, love, acceptance, change and what truly makes a family. And just like the unorthodox team members of Base 1407, it’s a story that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

A caution: LBGTQ romantic themes are explored, often in graphic, loving detail. If this is not your cuppa, you may be put off by this aspect of the story. I was not. I felt this very real part of life was included in balance with the breathtaking action sequences, the absorbing tech details, the quirks of personalities, and the varied blessings and challenges of body and mind that the people of Base 1407 face every moment of their lives.

A Guided Tour of My Girl Cave

When we moved into this house 2ish years ago, our lifestyle changed a *lot*. This house is newer, better built and well maintained, unlike the old house. It even has a spacious, well-landscaped country yard.

But best of all, it has THREE bedrooms! This meant, to my utter glee, that for the first time in my life, I could have an office of my very own. Even during my working career, I had never had an office, not even once. I always worked from cubicles, computer rooms, warehouses, and open plan desk rows. But now I have my very own Girl Cave. Want a little tour?

I’m trying. 🙂 This wall plaque is a good inspiration.
It’s 8:00 am on a beautiful day here in CowTown. Time for my morning commute! First, I exit that closed door (the bedroom) and then carefully navigate the three-foot crossing through the Girl Cave door (the open one). Whew. Thank goodness, traffic was light today, as the cat was still asleep. Now that we’ve arrived, we’ll look at the room in a proper clockwise manner. First is my filing cabinet. It looks so neat from the outside, but I do need to do heaps of organizing on the inside. It’s on my to-do list, and I’ll get to it eventually. Perhaps.
Here’s the full north wall. That dark wood mirror is a favorite antique. I bought it for $20 in the mid-70s at an antique shop in Seattle. It’s a shaving mirror, with a small shelf for grooming needfuls. It’s hand carved; every detail is a little lopsided, as the curves and spires don’t quite line up. I like it better because it was made with more love than talent.
I love snooping at other peoples bookshelves, so I’ll give you that same chance! Here’s the top. Real butterflies on a display under glass, decades old. My cold drip coffee maker, and yes, it really works. I had to put it up here because A) it’s out of reach of the cat and B) it’s rather steampunky and I like it in here. Lastly, a cross stitched picture done by a good friend.
Top three shelves of the bookcase. Most of the paperback steampunk and fantasy books are here, and many of them were bought directly from the authors and signed. I love my Kindle library, but it’s nice to have paper, too. Best of all worlds. Also, there’s a 1940s rubber-stamp holder that I use for my earring collection, my Bluetooth speaker, a huge Godiva cup filled with all sorts of loose tiny objects, and a resin antler candle holder.
Continuing down to carpet level. There’s a metal heat sink from a 1997 Pentium II computer, which makes a nifty business card holder now. And on the bottom shelf, Eomer sits atop Minas Tirith, doing battle with Van Helsing, who is taking aim with his crossbow from the geology and nature book section. Er, and his crossbow is backwards. It keeps falling off otherwise.
A wind chime. There’s plenty of chimes outdoors and elsewhere, and this one looks so elvish and elegant that I hung it from the light fixture. A convenient floor length mirror is next.
Going round the corner to the east wall. A stuffed pair of blue jeans makes a cozy cat bed for Chives, and his wheatgrass is nearby. It’s straggly, and needs to be replaced soon. He loves chewing grass. I crocheted that teddy bear in the corner. 🙂 Built-in shelving holds all sorts of supplies, book stock, whatnots and whatevers.
More of the built in shelving. It leads right up to the edge of the corner built in desk. Filling that wall with artwork is a future project we’ll get to soon.
The view from the doorway over to the southeast corner. The windows are above a built in small desk, which is perfect for gazing out over the farmlands beyond the back yard, or watching Burgess, the neighbor’s cat, make his rounds. And there’s a divan for reading, napping, or just having an occasional flop. I fold two fleece blankets at the foot of it for chilly days, or for Chives to hop up and sleep on. He loves doing that.
Closer view of the desk nook, where I like to use my 7 year-old laptop that Ken refurbished for me. It’s so cozy here! On the far right is my oil diffuser, which often mists lemon grass or patchouli oil into the air.
The view south is of the back yard, up to a barb wire-topped fence, and the fields beyond. The crops rotate between soybeans, corn and wheat.
I do like the care that went into texturing the walls in here.
Three plain pine boards on metal brackets had been left by the previous occupants. I had fun heaping them with the family heirloom doilies and various objects meaningful to me.
The west wall holds a desk for my gramma-box computer, which, like my laptop, is also 7 years old and refurbished. There’s a Himalayan salt lamp on the left side. It’s nice on cold mornings to rest my hands on to warm them. The left door is a small private bathroom and the right door is one of two sliding doors leading into a very spacious closet filled with costume supplies and clothing, mostly used at steampunk gatherings and cons.
The bulletin board over the desk is my own creation. Wine corks, cut in half, were hot-glued onto an old, faded, stained basic corkboard. I love how it turned out.

Thanks for visiting! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to be writing. Or… napping. Time will tell.