Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pints for Paws

We are looking forward to supporting the Animal Shelter Foundation and our local home brewers on Saturday at Pints for Paws. From the website:
Join us again, this year, and drink the finest and freshest handcrafted beer in Florida. Experience the taste of home brewed craft beer and talk with local home brewers. All proceeds go to the Animal Shelter Foundation (ASF), a charity that supports the homeless animals in the care of the Tallahassee Animal Service Center. Please visit for more information. 
A donation of $10 includes tickets for six craft beer samples. Additional donations include additional tasting tickets: $1 each or twelve for $10. Each sampling is approximately 3-4 ounces of craft beer.
Pints for Paws sponsored by North Florida Brewers League (NFBL)
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 4-8pm
Market Square on Timberlane Road

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Take the 30x30 Challenge

A tweet from Ecowatch led me to this great project - David Suzuki Foundation's 30x30 Challenge, which is to spend at least 30 minutes in nature for the next 30 days (aka each day in the month of June). This 90 second video details the benefits:

Unless you live in Canada, you can't officially sign up but this is one Thomas and I will enjoy. June 1st is the first day of summer vacation here and we plan to start it bright and early at the park playing disc golf. Maybe we'll even share some photos!

For my reading friends, DSF has a book club that looks really interesting. Learn more about it here or check out this month's selection Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness, and Vitality by Eva M. Selhub, MD and Alan Logan, ND.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

YA book recommendation

From Maura's daughter, Christine

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

"It is laugh out loud funny" report M & C!
Description from amazon:
Using the skills you've learned so far in Introduction to Psychology, please write a brief self-assessment describing how things are going in your freshman year. Presenting Concerns: The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots).
Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much.
Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream?
Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who's badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, naive. Diagnosis: Psych Major Syndrome

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cash Mobs

I heard about cash mobs this spring but didn't realize until now that they started in Cleveland! The idea of a cash mob is that everyone shows up on a certain date and time at a local business to support the role that shop plays in the local community. Andrew Samtoy does a great job explaining the concept in this video from my favorite weekly email from Cool Cleveland:

I love that the purpose is social as much as it is about spending money and highlighting local gems. I also love that since launching this in December 2011 the idea has spread all around the world! That is pretty awesome. We even have one in Tallahassee - they haven't tweeted yet but I'm following @CMTallahassee

Learn more --

Saturday, May 26, 2012

into the ether - photography show

 Hope to catch my cousin Greg's show while we're in town next month. Here are the details from the Judson website

The Howson Gallery at Judson Park presents "…into the ether" May 18-June 22, 2012, featuring wet plate collodian photography by Greg Martin. The Howson Gallery is located at the Judson Park community of Judson at University Circle, 1801 Chestnut Hills Drive, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106. Call (216) 791-2885 for gallery hours. Free admission.

About Wet Plate Collodian process
The wet plate collodion process is an early photographic process introduced in the 1850s by Frederick Scott Archer. It consisted of three basic types: Ambrotypes (positive images on clear or opaque glass); Ferrotypes (positive images on black-jappaned metal); Glass Plate Negatives (negative images on clear glass used for printing). In the wet-plate collodion process a glass or metal plate is coated with a salted collodion emulsion, and sensitized in a silver nitrate bath. It is then exposed "in-camera," developed and "fixed," and then varnished, resulting in the final image. Because it requires "in-camera" exposures, each image is one-of-a kind, and the image is shot directly onto the plate surface.

About Greg Martin
Greg Martin is an artist and designer who grew up on the eastside of Cleveland and currently resides in South Euclid, Ohio. He has been using the wet plate collodion process as a means of artistic exploration and expression since 2005. His fascination with the cityscape of Cleveland manifests itself in a series of images exploring the city as filtered through the wet plate collodion process. He has exhibited work in a variety of group shows throughout Ohio as well as upstate New York, and his work resides in several collections, including that of Fred and Laura Bidwell.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Family History Friday

Going back in time, on the same branch of the family tree as last week, to Canada and the early part of the 1800s. My 4th great grandmother, Lucinda Flagg Cain, was born in 1808 in Prescott, Ontario, which is on the St. Lawrence River, just west of Quebec. The British opened this area to settlement in 1784 as a place for loyalists to the crown to relocate from the newly independent U.S. colonies. At least two of these loyalist families were Cains (Barnabas "Barney" and John) but no proof either way yet if either is related to Lucinda's husband, Thomas Cain. We know very little about Thomas - only his name, that he is of Irish parentage, and that he and Lucinda married when "she was a young girl."

Here are some maps. First one is of Ontario (with the small inset of Canada) and then a close up of the area where Prescott sits (in the far southeast tip of Ontario, east of Lake Ontario, across from New York state).

Prescott continues to celebrate its British history with a Loyalist Festival each summer. [2012 ought to be extra exciting as it marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812.] 

Grenville County Historical Society maintains archives for the area. They have extensive holdings (Mom, we'll have to visit some day) including ancestral information on the Cain and Flagg families (Thomas and Lucinda's families, respectively, and hopefully). O'Doyle (Lucinda's mother's maiden name) is not on the list. She remains a mystery. 
entrance to Fort Wellington in Prescott source

this blue church was built in the 1800s on the site of an older church.
grave markers look old and interesting source

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fun Times in the Madison Area - Chops

One last date to report on from our last trip to Ohio... which was in November. Better late than never, right? I have lots of drafted posts I hope to finish in the next month or so. Our neighbor-brother Lynn recommended Chops Grille & Tap House, which is one of his favorite haunts.

This is a big restaurant with a separate sports bar. It has a big glossy menu like a chain restaurant but I'm pretty sure this is their only location. The service was great - friendly and fast - the staff is clearly used to dealing with large crowds and keeping everyone moving.

Along with our Great Lakes beers (which they have on tap, and at great happy hour prices!) we shared an appetizer, the Shrimp Griller: Two skewers, seasoned with Chops special spices and served withWasabi sauce over a bed of onion tanglers. It was prepared perfectly - the shrimp were tender and tasty.

For dinner, hubs ordered baby back ribs (as recommended by Lynn) and I had a strip steak. Both came with two sides; we each had a house salad and as you can see, I had a loaded baked potato.

A combination of our two dinners - strip steak on left, ribs on right
along with the giant baked potato I had the next day for lunch

A good meal at a good price - we'd definitely recommend it.

1752 South Broadway (just north of I-90 at 534) 
Geneva, Ohio 44041
(I-90 at Rt 534)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Rose - AHMIR cover to Stop Violence Against Women (The Pixel Project)

The Music For Pixels campaign is the first social media-based music campaign to exclusively collaborate with YouTube artistes to raise awareness about Violence Against Women (VAW) through music video PSAs while raising funds for the cause via digital music downloads.

YouTube musicians perform positive, uplifting and empowering songs to boost the spirits of survivors and inspire their fans and global audiences to take action to stop VAW in their communities.

Purchase this song on iTunes now to support The Pixel Project and to stop violence against women:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Food Revolution Day

Saturday May 19th was Food Revolution Day, a celebration of eating, cooking and learning more about food and where it comes from. Right up our alley, right?

To prepare, Friday night T and I made granola and berry swirl for yogurt parfaits for Saturday breakfast. T was inspired by this recipe he saw on Tyler's Ultimate last week. We used Tyler's berry recipe and our favorite granola recipe.
 the finished product - yogurt granola parfaits with berry sauce

Golden Granola 

dry ingredients
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup soy flour
1 3/4 cup raw almonds
1/2 dry roasted sunflower seeds

wet ingredients
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup honey (we used local Tupelo honey, yum)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup dried fruit (we used raisins, golden raisins and cherries)

Preheat oven to 350 F. 

Combine the dry ingredients well in a large bowl and make a well in the center for the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. 

Spread mixture out evenly on a large baking sheet and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola turns golden brown, about 30 minutes total. 

Remove from the oven and pour the granola into a large bowl. Stir in the dried fruit and let cool. After it cools, store in an airtight container.
granola in the oven
finished product - makes about 8 1/2 cups
Berry Sauce
(adapted from Tyler Florence's Berry Swirl recipe here)

2 cups fresh berries (we used 1/2 strawberries and 1/2 red raspberries)  
juice of 1/2 a lemon (we used a whole lemon and it was too much lemon!)
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Mix the ingredients together in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until syrupy, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

To assemble parfaits, layer granola, vanilla yogurt and berry sauce until your glass or bowl are full. 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Deadly Spin - Must Read Book

Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans sounds like a provocative title, but the book is credible and backed with facts. The goal is to dispel myths that for-profit health insurance companies have spent millions of dollars making you believe. I'm not ashamed to say I heard about this book listening to AARP's Prime Time radio. Even though I'm not old enough to be a member of AARP (yet), the weekly radio show is uniformly informative and interesting. [Listen to the interview here. Tallahassee friends, it's on from 1pm-2pm on Tuesdays on WFSU]

The author, Wendell Potter, spent his career working his way up the corporate health care ladder in Public Relations. He wants us all to know that profits are what these companies are about - they are not about keeping you healthy or paying your claims. Rates don't go up because medical care gets more expensive, they go up because the insurance company wants to make more money. His job was to obscure this fact and he describes in detail how this works, in his industry and others. Fascinating, eye-opening reading.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Family History Friday

The history of our families is intrinsically tied to the places we've lived. Generations of my mother's father's family lived along the Allegheny River in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. I joke with my Mom that half the people in Cattaraugus County, New York are probably related to us.
hopefully this excerpt of the history of my maternal grandfather's family is clear enough for you to read - if not, click on it to see it larger. If that doesn't work, let me know and I'll transcribe it.

(The big picture of where in the state of New York I'm talking about - Cattaraugus County is in red. Thanks to wikipedia for the picture. If you've ever been to Ellicottville to ski, those two resorts are in this county.)

In 1965, the federal government built the Kinzua (kin-zew) Dam that created the Allegheny Reservoir, also known as Kinzua Lake.

The project put many of the towns my ancestors inhabited firmly underwater. For example, Corydon, Pennsylvania; Elko, New York and others. It makes sense that early settlers to the area would live along waterways - but it makes me a little sad that we can't go and visit these tiny towns.
Corydon Township is a township in McKean County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 301 at the 2000 census.
The township was significantly flooded as a result of the construction of the Kinzua Dam in the 1960s, and as such, it is much more sparsely populated than it used to be. (source)
Coldspring is a town in Cattaraugus County, New York, United States. It is located in the southwest part of the county, west of the City of Salamanca.

In 1965, the former "Town of Elko" was dissolved, and its territory was absorbed by Coldspring. Elko had been formed in 1890 from part of the Town of South Valley and is now the south part of Coldspring. Elko had first been settled by Quakers, acting as missionaries to the local natives in 1798. It currently has no permanent population, as virtually all of Elko's territory is now either under the Allegheny Reservoir or within the bounds of Allegany State Park. (source)
On the plus side, I discovered this week that while some of the towns no longer exist, a few might be above water and part of Allegany State Park in New York, including two places I was beginning to think were mythical (Quaker Run and Cain Hollow). It's possible these locations are named in honor of the old towns, but the state park has a historical society (check them out on facebook here) and given that some of the old roads and other features (like apple orchards) still exist, I think the naming is probably accurate geographically. Unfortunately, none of the houses or other buildings are there, but foundations and stone fences litter the park. Again, you can see any of these pictures larger by clicking on them. The first map is an overview of the whole park; the second zooms in on Cain Hollow and the third is just the inset map on the right of the large (first) map.

Alleghany State Park is the largest state park in New York and has been named one of the most beautiful.

To go back a little further on this section of the family tree, we'll have to learn more about Prescott, Ontario (coming soon...).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This Week's Veggies and Fruit

Nothing exotic this week. 
Clockwise from top - green beans, zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers, 
red potatoes and strawberries

80s Skate Night

Good times Saturday night celebrating Magie's birthday 80s style at the rink! Roller skating is harder as a grown-up than it was as a middle-schooler, but still fun. The floor is not hard wood like it was when I was a kid. Now it's a much slicker synthetic material (think air hockey) that makes it possible to skate a lot faster but also increases your chances of crashing and burning. Luckily I didn't take any spills. We met at a restaurant beforehand for snacks and drinks and then had pizza and cake along with skating and lots of laughs. It was truly a lot of fun.
Tara and Ashley lacing up. Ashley was a rockstar skater. 

 Britain and Chris skating. We dressed for the 80s party theme.

 Magie in her birthday crown.

Me skating (and working on my balance skills) while sporting my CWRU Greek Week '88 shirt

 Chris didn't skate (his ankle is still healing from last week's sprain) so he took lots of pictures, including all the ones in this post, except this one, which is courtesy of Britain.

Tara authentic right down to her Hubba Bubba gum.

 Love Jenn's Yo MTV Raps shirt!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7th Grade Summer Reading

These are the five options for rising seventh graders to choose from for their summer reading assignment (all descriptions courtesy of amazon):

Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings

Brady loves life on the Chesapeake Bay with his friends J.T. and Digger. But developers and rich families are moving into the area, and while Brady befriends some of them, like the DiAngelos, his parents and friends are bitter about the changes. Tragedy strikes when the DiAngelos’ kayak overturns in the bay, and Brady wonders if it was more than an accident. Soon, Brady discovers the terrible truth behind the kayak’s sinking, and it will change the lives of those he loves forever. Priscilla Cummings deftly weaves a suspenseful tale of three teenagers caught in a wicked web of deception.
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian James Williams

The New York Times Bestseller! The story of an outcast boy, his eccentric dad, and the scary underground world they discover through secret TUNNELS.
14-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when Dad mysteriously vanishes, Will is compelled to dig up the truth behind his disappearance. He unearths the unbelievable: a secret subterranean society. "The Colony" has existed unchanged for a century, but it's no benign time capsule of a bygone era--because the Colony is ruled by a cultlike overclass, the Styx. Before long--before he can find his father--Will is their prisoner.... [first in a series of five (so far).]
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

A Newbery Honor Book author has written a powerful and gripping novel about a youth in Nazi Germany who tells the truth about Hitler.
Bartoletti has taken one episode from her Newbery Honor Book, HITLER YOUTH, and fleshed it out into thought-provoking novel. When 16-year-old Helmut Hubner listens to the BBC news on an illegal short-wave radio, he quickly discovers Germany is lying to the people. But when he tries to expose the truth with leaflets, he's tried for treason. Sentenced to death and waiting in a jail cell, Helmut's story emerges in a series of flashbacks that show his growth from a naive child caught up in the patriotism of the times , to a sensitive and mature young man who thinks for himself.
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. [Yellow Fever took the lives of 10% of Philadelphia's population - 5,000 people - in 1793.]
Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.
Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen

"It's a cold, hard, cruel fact that my mother loved heroin more than she loved me."
Holly is in her fifth foster home in two years and she's had enough. She's run away before and always been caught quickly. But she's older and wiser now--she's twelve--and this time she gets away clean. 
Through tough and tender and angry and funny journal entries, Holly spills out her story. We travel with her across the country--hopping trains, scamming food, sleeping in parks or homeless encampments. And we also travel with her across the gaping holes in her heart--as she finally comes to terms with her mother's addiction and death.

Runaway is a remarkably uplifting portrait of a girl still young and stubborn and naive enough to hold out hope for finding a better place in the world, and within herself, to be.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers' Day Update

I had a really nice Mothers' Day. Hubs and T made me breakfast:

This is the same breakfast hubs used to make for me when I was pregnant with T and could barely eat anything. Whole wheat bread, a slice of tomato and cheddar cheese, toasted in a cast iron skillet. Yum.

 I am now a proud owner of a new ipad, which I am learning to use. T is a master (as you can see from the photo - one of his favorite Presidents videos, paused on #18, Ulysses S. Grant). 

T made me this great star flower at school.

Big thanks to my guys for all the love and making it a great day for me. xoxoxo

Friday, May 11, 2012

Family History Friday

George Schuler, my 3rd great grandfather, was born in Sundhouse, Bas Rhin, Alsace, France on October 24, 1800. I believe this grave marker (thank you belongs to him and his second wife, Marie Elizabeth Busch Schuler. George immigrated to America in 1851 with Elizabeth and at least two of his children, David (see below) and Jacob (my 2nd great grandfather). They settled in Elko, Pennsylvania (eastern Warren County), near Mack Corners (and Mack Cemetery, where these markers are).

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