Learn About Composting Day, End of the Middle Ages Day, Coq Au Vin Day

★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
May 29, 2013

Daylily - Explored

Today’s Quote:  You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his mother every time around – and why his mother will always wave back.” – William D. Tammeus

★~ Learn About Composting Day:


I don’t compost, but I did gather some composting 101 tips for those of you who might like to give it a try.

Why Compost: Composting is great for all gardeners because it improves soil, which in turn prevents plant diseases. And it can even reduce harmful greenhouse gases. “Organics that break down in a landfill produce methane gas, which is about 120 times more harmful than carbon dioxide,” says Cary Oshins, assistant director for programs at the United States Composting Council, in Ronkonkoma, New York.

How to Get Started: Choose a container that’s made of wood (or some other sturdy material) and no smaller than three by three feet. Place it in your yard in a shady spot with good drainage. Start adding waste in a ratio of three “browns” to one “green.” Browns are carbon-rich materials and include wood chips, straw, branches, and leaves. Greens provide nitrogen and include grass clippings and kitchen scraps, like eggshells and carrot tops. When you’re adding new material, Oshins suggests, dig a hole in the pile and stir the new stuff in so it gets coated with the old mixture.

How to Maintain the Pile: Composting is a smelly process. You’re breaking down food and yard waste, after all. But it shouldn’t be so offensive that the neighbors complain (or it attract rodents) If you notice a stench, make sure you have enough browns in the pile. (Ask a tree service or a landscaper for extra wood chips or brush.) Also check the moisture level by grabbing a handful of the heap. It should be at about 50 to 60 percent, meaning the compost feels like a wrung-out sponge. If it’s too dry, let rain even out the moisture. If it’s too wet, add a few more browns.

How to Tell if the Compost Is Ready: When it’s ready for use, which could take anywhere from a few months to a year, compost looks and smells like very dark soil. If you’re unsure, put it to the Baggie test: Place a small amount in a plastic bag and take a whiff before sealing. Then place the bag in a drawer for a few days. When you open the bag, the sample should smell the same as it did before. If it smells worse, your compost needs more time in the pile.

★~ End of the Middle Ages Day:


Today, more or less, around 1453BC, the Ottomans conquered Constantinople and the Renaissance era was believed to have been begun. Obviously, without Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube it took some time for it to go viral.

Here are a few places you can explore Medieval and Renaissance art:

* Victoria and Albert Museum
* Renaissance Connection at the Allentown Museum
* Medieval and Renaissance Illuminations at the Louvre (takes a little while to fully load)

★~ Coq Au Vin Day: 

Coq Au Vin


Coq au vin is a French staple that literally translates to “rooster with wine.” It’s a rustic, peasant-style dish that is easy to serve when entertaining because a lot of the work can be done in advance.

Most recipes call for dark chicken meat that sits in a red wine, mushroom and mirepoix (celery, onions and carrots) marinade over night. Typically the chicken has already been dusted in flour seared in pork fat. Depending on which French region you’re pledging food allegiance to, the type of wine, mushrooms and additions can vary, but the method remains the same.

It’s not quite as heavy as red-meat stews so it’s a prefect spring and summer stew.

Alton Brown: Coq au Vin

★~ Back in the Days:

Rhode Island

♥~ 1790 – The smallest of the United States joined the first 12 states as number 13. Rhode Island, the Ocean State, probably got its name when discoverer Verrazano noted that, the area we know as Rhode Island, looked about the size of the tiny Greek Isle of Rhodes. Rhode Island’s capital city is Providence, and the tiny violet is appropriate as the state flower. Probably the most famous variety of chicken, the Rhode Island Red, is the state bird.

♥~ 1848 – Wisconsin, became the 30th state to enter the Union (Wisconsin, is thought to be the Chippewa Indian word for “grassy place”.) The wood violet is the state flower, the robin is the state bird and Madison is the capital city. Wisconsin’s nickname is the Badger State, but it is not named after the little animal, as you might have thought. It seems that the many lead miners in the Wisconsin grass lands in the 1830s were called — badgers.

♥~ 1942 – Bing Crosby recorded the Irving Berlin song ‘White Christmas‘. Crosby recorded the song with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the Ken Darby Singers in just 18 minutes. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.

♥~ 1999 – Hikers found a skeleton in a minivan at the bottom of a canyon near Malibu, California. It turned out to be the remains of Iron Butterfly bassist Philip ‘Taylor’ Kramer who had been missing since Feb 1995.

♥~ 2010 – The Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in major-league history in a 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins. It was the second perfect game in the majors in 2010 — Dallas Braden achieved the feat for Oakland against Tampa Bay on May 9 — the first recored time in which two perfect games were thrown in the same season.

★~ Born Today:

Bob Hope

1903 – Bob Hope (Leslie Townes Hope) The consummate entertainer, appeared in a multitude of films, millions caught his act on nightclub stages, and on countless TV specials, including 17 years as host of The Academy Awards. Yet he was still best known for his USO tours and entertaining of troops overseas and on the front lines during World War II, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War and during Desert Storm in the early 1990s.

1917 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy 35th U.S. President [1961-1963]; married to Jaqueline Bouvier [two sons, one daughter]; nickname: JFK, Jack; youngest, first Roman Catholic, first to win Purple Heart, first to serve in U.S. Navy, first to win Pulitzer Prize [book: Profiles in Courage], fourth U.S. President to be assassinated, second buried at Arlington National Cemetery; assassinated Nov 22, 1963

1945 – Gary Brooker, Procol Harum, (1967 UK No.1 and US No.5 single ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’). Brooker founded The Paramounts in 1962 with his guitarist friend Robin Trower and also worked with Eric Clapton, Alan Parsons and Ringo Starr.

1958 – Annette Bening actress: Richard III, The American President, Love Affair, Bugsy, Postcards from the Edge, The Grifters, Valmont, The Great Outdoors, Mars Attacks!, American Beauty

★~ Good to Know: A few Cicadas facts:


(I’m usually not a fan of ‘Keep Calm’ posters however, your El Morno hostess can’t bring herself to wade through Cicade pictures to find one that won’t gross you out too much. So ‘Keep Calm’ is a compromise. Your welcome!)

♥~ Cicadas will land on you if you’re using a power tool, lawn mower, hedge trimmer claiming you as one of their own. The sounds made by these tools are very similar to the noise that cicadas make.

♥~ Cicadas have five eyes: Two, obvious, large, compound eyes, and three ocelli. Ocelli are three jewel-like eyes situated between the two main, compound eyes of a cicada. We believe ocelli are used to detect light and darkness. Ocelli means little eyes in Latin.

♥~ Cicadas pee, so wear a hat when walking under trees if that sort of thing bothers you. Cicadas drink tree fluids, and then expel the unneeded excess fluid. People call it “honey dew” or “cicada rain.”

♥~ Cicadas that emerge at prime-numbered year intervals, like the seventeen-year Brood II set to swarm the East Coast, find themselves relatively immune to predator population cycles, since it is mathematically unlikely for a short-cycled predator to exist on the same cycle. In Gould’s example, a cicada that emerges every seventeen years and has a predator with a five-year life cycle will only face a peak predator population once every eighty-five (5 x 17) years, giving it an enormous advantage over less well-adapted cicadas.

♥~ Cicadas are a treat for birds and other insect-eating animals (humans who have tried them claim they taste rather like corn or asparagus), but the emergence always takes those animals by surprise. Cicadas have no natural predators, in the sense of an animal that depends on them as a primary food source—it would be problematic to wait nearly two decades between meals.

♥~ There is some good news: Cicadas don’t stink, and aside from the noise pollution they generate they’re harmless.

♥~ If you live on the east coast (where the Cicada out break will be the largest) or just suffer from entomophobes here is handy guide on how to emotional survive the 2013 Cicada Swarmageddon


A cuppa with a friend this morno.  My week just has to improve. Yesterday, I spilled a grande Starbuck Carmel Crunch down the front of me. Do you have any idea how sticky that was? And I did it while waiting for a cab…I will have to fill you in later. It gets better.

Wishing you a Wednesday full of whimsey.


15 thoughts on “Learn About Composting Day, End of the Middle Ages Day, Coq Au Vin Day

  1. Morno,
    Glad I don’t live where the Cicadas will break out. Harmless, but big, ugly and crunchy when you step on them. Haven’t managed to try Coq Au Vin, but I will keep my eye out for on a menu. I don’t suppose it is served at Family Buffet. Recycling is complicated enough in my area, I don’t need to add composting to garbage management. Although a lot of my neighbors do it.
    Have a good one

    • Yuck, I hadn’t thought about crunching them. Thanks for that visual. No, I don’t think you will find Coq Au Vin on the Family Buffet all you can eat menu. I’m so glad that I don’t have to deal with garbage management. Our garbage men are great and take everything toss together. Lazy, but works for me.
      See you tomorrow!

  2. Good Morno,
    Yes, Thank you, I can do with cicade pictures over coffee. Interesting tips, tho. I don’t believe they taste like asparagus tho.
    I’ve had Coq au vin and it’s very tasty. It was made with chicken. I would think rooster would be very tough.
    Not a composter. I just don’t want to deal with something that has the potential to smell or draw rodents into my yard.
    The middle ages is an interesting time in history. Lots of good art and thinkers.
    Happy Wednesday.

    • I don’t believe they taste like asparagus either! I agree completely about the composting–Yuck.
      Rooster sounds a lot tougher than chicken, but then I have never had the dish either way!
      Hope you had a good day.

  3. i do recycle but not compost. i doubt it i ever will.
    a big jump from yesterday’s foods & today’s! prefer tuesday.
    we have cicadas that adorn the sides of the house although not too many. strange things.
    looks like every other day you are an incident waiting to happen! can’t urge you to stay home because that has proved unsafe as well!
    nik passed her cgc test last weekend! not sure what the future holds for nik & me so we will hold high each achievement.
    good day!

    • CONGRATS NIK! Of-course, every victory MUST be celebrated. Wonderful!
      Cicadas are odd and loud and ugly! I am an incident waiting to happen. Thank God I still have friends that will risk hanging out with me.

  4. Goodness sake, girl…what is going on with you? IS Cole home yet? If not, it could be that all is the unrest you feel with him being gone! Hang in there, Sunshine, and the world will right itself when he is back in the nest.
    Not a composter. I sure wish this miserable weather would take a hike for a month or so.

    • I know, right? I’m a mess. I do miss my boy but hope to get my act together before he comes home and wonders what in the world I did while he was gone. I know, the weather has been unrelenting! We need some pretty spring days!

  5. I don’t compost. Sounds like a LOT of work to me.
    I’m glad the cicadas are someplace else this year — we’ve had enough aggravation with all the rain and storms.
    Spilled coffee? Yuck. Guess that’s less hazardous though than slipping in the bathtub like I did last week. I’ve still got some ugly bruises!

    • I think you have to like (really like) to garden. I have friends who swear it is not that much work, but I’m not a believer. Sorry about your fall!! Ouch!

      • Wait..I did drop a large can of sauce on my foot on Sunday….still bruised. Tell me the story behind the bathtub… 😀

        • I’d finished my shower and was trying to towel off, standing on one leg and attempting to dry the other. I don’t know how, but I lost my balance (lingering jet lag, I imagine). Despite the number of “grab bars” in the hotel tub, I missed them all — it never crossed my mind to reach for one! I banged my shin on the edge of the tub, then tried to break my fall. My inner upper left arm came down hard on the edge of the tub, too, and I sat flat down on my butt in the tub. Of course, my first thought was to yell out, “I’m okay!” so Domer wouldn’t come running to help — Virgo modesty, don’t you know!!

          • Ouch! Ouch! That must have really hurt. I’m so glad you were okay and I am pretty sure Domer was relieved he didn’t have to race into rescue you.
            I should have blogged about Italy instead of Ireland, it would have made you feel better. Hope the bruises are healing and the pain is subsiding!

  6. We tried composting once. It’s a lot of work and we gave it up. Just make a Home Depot run and buy some good potting soil. I remember the Cicadas in Houston. They were so loud!

    • And didn’t it attract varmints? Home Dept works for me! The Cicadas are very loud and very ugly.

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