Tag: star-gazing

Tsunamis, Star-gazing, and Celestial Soup

Arrived home early this morning after a tsunami evacuation pulled us out of our beds last night. Battled some pretty crazy traffic to get to a friend’s house were we camped out on her fourth floor balcony which happened to have a lovely view of the now deserted Kailua-Kona harbor. Also an even lovelier view of a beautifully full Hawaiian moon shimmering on some VERY CALM WATER. So yeah, false alarm. No tsunami, not even an over-sized ripple on our side of the island. But a sleepless night out-of-doors at least yielded some lovely star-gazing and two more constellations checked off our list. Our little adventure left us all pretty out-of-sorts today and in need of some soothing comfort-food. My boys’ all-time favorite soup is a home-made version of Italian Wedding Soup made from spinach, chicken, and those tiny Acini Pepe pasta balls. However, in keeping with our astronomy theme I substituted the pasta balls for Stelline Pasta Stars. That, and a long afternoon nap should have us back to our old-selves.

Celestial Soup Recipe

1. Boil your left-over $4.99 Costco rotisserie chicken carcass in 8 cups water till it falls apart and you have a nice chicken stock. Let cool then pick out ALL the bones leaving all the little chunks of chicken in the stock (a great job for little hands).
2. Boil 1/2 box of Stelline Pasta Stars (or Acini Pepe Pasta Balls) in 8 cups water, drain.
3. Add 1 cube chicken bullion, 1 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg, 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
and the pasta to chicken stock and chicken.
4. Chop up and saute in 1 TBSP Olive oil a good sized bunch of Kale, spinach or chard with a little sea salt just till tender then add to everything else.
5. Add water to desired thinness. We like it thick rather than brothy.
6. Serve with baguette and butter or in this case Costco Parmesan bagel halves smeared with homemade macadamia nut and basil pesto topped with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella then toasted in oven till cheese bubbles. Yumm.

Worth a Whiny Wednesday?

Essential Star-Gazing Gear. Also, recommend the NightSky app for your iphone.

I’ve gotten into the habit of stepping out to look at the stars whenever I wake up at night. To really get away from the lights though, requires a short walk to the ocean bluffs where the night sky opens up over the Pacific and distant boat lights blend into the blackness with all those millions of stars. Sometimes, it’s a great opportunity to have some quiet time alone with the Creator of it all but lately I’ve been bringing along one of the boys. This morning was an exception. They’d all been arguing the night before over whose turn it was to go stargazing with Mom, so when one of them wandered into our room at 4:00 this morning I thought it only fair to see if any of the others wanted to join us outside. So, there I was at 4:15 with 3 little guys instead of 1, heading out to look at the stars. We were able to knock a couple more constellations off our list and we saw 4 shooting stars from the Orionids meteor shower which will be peaking Monday, October 22. Here is a great website that lists the various showers and the best times to watch: meteor-activity-outlook-for-october-13-19-2012
We’ve also been participating this week in the Great World Wide Star Count which ends October 19. This means if you have a clear night tonight or tomorrow, you can get in on the count, too! Here is a link to that site as well:starcount
Yes, there’s tons of neat stuff out there to be learned in the dark hours of the night. And it makes for some precious time shared with the little people in your life. But be warned, late-night star-gazing can make for a VERY WHINY WEDNESDAY when nobody has had enough sleep! So is it worth it? Better ask me after naptime.