Archive | March, 2012

My brain feels like compost…

22 Mar

After spending the majority of yesterday starting my compost pile.  Yay!♥

Here’s a brief recap of day one in my attempt to compost in my backyard.  While she♥ and Ace were trying to wall mount our flat screen, I chose to speed clean the house, catch up on laundry and dig out a composting pit.  Well…almost dig out.  I read that a good size pit for a household is 3x3x3.  Cool.  I can do that.  Let me tell you that 3 feet is a lot deeper than it sounds.  And thank you, West Homestead, for deciding to make both the front and back of my house a sheet of solid bricks.  Apparently it used to be a sidewalk back in the mill days.  History.  Cool.  Thanks for the hunchback.

So far this is the extent of my composting experience:

I have a list of 163 things that can be composted taped to my kitchen wall.
I have a bucket, which I will soon switch to a lidded container, in which I will be throwing my “scraps.”
I dug a whole 3x3x3 in my backyard.  I will be filling the hole with the the same soil that I just removed, sans rocks and parts of bricks.  (For some reason, about 2 feet under my backyard is a sheet of solid bricks.)
I will cover my composting pile with a tarp and hold it down with said bricks and assorted rocks I found while digging my pile.  Since I don’t have a tarp yet, there’s obvi not a picture!
After doing so, I will say a Hail Mary in hopes that the dogs will not get too curious.
Every several weeks, I will rake my pile and let the worms do their job.  (I have been assured that the worms will come and I will not have to purchase them.)

My neighbors are going to think I’m crazy because I spent all day digging a hole only to fill it back in and make it look almost exactly the same.  Then again, in my neighborhood it takes a lot to make people think you’re strange.

This is what I ended up with:

Excuse the scribbles, apparently Picnik doesn’t like a straight line (or I’m too tired to find it).  It don’t look like much now, and of course I won’t put anything in it before I get a tarp, but I’m pretty excited to see what those wormies can do!!

♥Wish me luck!!♥

Wordless Wednesday

21 Mar

Brother Bakes ♥

20 Mar

Tip:  When baking a lidded pie, make sure you place the pie in the middle of the oven.  Place a baking sheet or tin foil on a rack just below, so that when the yummy sugar oozes out it doesn’t ruin your oven!  I once ruined a pizza stone which accidentally caught the gooey goodness.

Thai Me Up: You’re Bound To Like It

18 Mar

I know, I know…I didn’t post my Fish Friday post on Friday but in my defense, I have been running around like a mad woman for the last two days.

We had to make a last minute switcheroo from fish fries and regular places, so on Friday we ended up at Thai Me Up on Carson Street in South Side.

It being Friday, Thai Me Up was a great choice because they have an extensive vegetarian menu and you can substitute chicken or steak for shrimp.

Each lunch special comes with a spring roll, so this was the first thing we recieved…

So friggin good.  The wrap isn’t like an eggroll, thick and crunchy.  It was fried but it was very thin, so it really felt like more of a light appetizer and not a corndog with cabbage in it.

I ordered the PadThai with tofu (you get a choice of meat)…

Throughout high school and college, I would DRIVE AN HOUR AND 15 MINUTES for this exact plate.  To this day it is one of my favorite meals.  It has stir-fried noodles with egg, napa, basil leaves and a spicy garlic sauce.  To. die. for.

She♥ ordered Thai Style fried rice…

(We will have to work on her♥ photo taking skills!  This one turned out a little blurry!)

Since she♥ is more of a picky eater, we all felt that this would be a safe bet for her because it was only stir-fried rice with shrimp, egg, onion and tomato in a brown sauce.  This was the first restaurant any of us had been to in which stir-fried shrimp was served with tails still on.  Have you guys ever experienced that?

She reported back that it was just an okay dish.  HOWEVER…

The MIL ordered the Spicy Basil Noodles and Mushroom & Lemongrass Soup (instead of the spring roll).

I will say that we had been cautioned by the server to order the spring roll if we had never tried the soup before.  But, I’m glad that we are the adventurous type, because this soup was so delicious.  Yes, it was a little spicy but it was also a little sweet.  The only comparison I have would be a sweet and sour soup at a Chinese restuarant.  But this soup was much lighter, with more taste and the mushrooms were pretty darn good.

The lunch special Basil Leaves…

The menu says that the shrimp (our choice of meat) was stir-fried with basil leaves and bell pepper in a spicy garlic sauce.  Now I feel that that is a little misleading because it tasted like cabbage or bok choy was in there as well.  Regardless of what the mystery mix was, the whole table agreed that it was pretty tasty.

Thai Me Up
1925 East Carson Street, South Side
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11am-2:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Fri 4pm-9:30pm, Sat 12p-9:30p

I promise that next Friday, SFTS will be back in the Lenten groove!!  Hope this post didn’t make your mouth water too much ♥


I Love Homestead ♥

16 Mar

This morning we went for a walk out of our small neighborhood and into Homestead’s Eighth Avenue corridor.

If you’ve never driven through the area, its almost shocking how blighted the main street is.  It lies in stark contrast to the bustling developed area called the Waterfront, just beyond the train tracks.  I sometimes think its a statement by the public – how many areas are completely blighted and then separated by train tracks from one of the most popular consumer destinations in Pittsburgh?

Something is wrong here, people.

I have a meeting on Monday with someone from the Enterprise Zone.  What is the Enterprise Zone you ask?  It is an organization which helps turn blight around in the Steel Valley, which has been correctly labeled an impoverished area.  Bringing businesses, especially green businesses, to the main street could turn the image of the entire Steel Valley around.  When people feel like there are great places to shop and eat, they aren’t afraid to move to areas and reinvest their tax dollars there.  For example – the South Side of Pittsburgh.  If you are new to the ‘Burgh, you may not even know what South Side used to look like.  Trust me, it weren’t pretty.  It was predominantly low-income mill workers in ethnic clusters (as was Homestead, to be honest).

Between 10-15 years ago, a developer approached Homestead to turn one of Andrew Carnegie’s defunct steel mills into a redeveloped brownfield.  The end product was incredible and has done so much for the Steel Valley.



And after:

While I’m not thrilled that there are so many parking lots and not so many pedestrian/bike areas, I am glad that there is commerce happening in my area.  However, if you think of it in terms of social justice, much of the money being made at the Waterfront is NOT being put back into Homestead.  Many people forget that they are the same place.

Anyway, that’s my morning rant.

I will be meeting with someone from the Enterprise Zone on Monday to find out how businesses can get help to anchor themselves to Eighth Avenue.



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