Thursday, December 31, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Now you need about a dozen big scallops. Don't even think about those tiny little wanna be scallops. Since I live in rural Nebraska, all my seafood has to be defrosted first. I just let the frozen nuggets of goodness just sit in a strainer in the sink. Less clean up that way. You'll also need about a dozen raw shrimp. Get the biggest one's you can afford. I have been know to do this with even salad shrimp, but it's so much better with larger ones. Thaw them ( Nebraska, remember?) and remove any shells. Here's where I betray my New England roots and toss in a Baltimore twist.
Set your oven to 350. Grease a couple of ramekins, or a pie plate. I have nice 8oz ramekins, but trust me, no one is going to care what you cook these beauties in! Just try to not have them layered too thickly in the vessel. Put the raw seafood in the baking dish. Add a couple healthy splashes of white wine or sherry. If you want to be really adventurous, you could add some crispy peppered bacon crumbles to the seafood. I wouldn't complain one little bit. ( Don't tell anyone north of Hartford, but I've done it and it was awesome!) Set the dishes aside for now.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wait... what's this.... see, I told you she's one of those artsy ones. A simply sweet little birthday book. And I do mean little, it's only 2 1/2 inches wide!
Wait...there's something more in this box! And what a treasure it is. I'm not going to tell you what it is right now. It deserves a post of it's own. It's good. Really good. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Anyway, today I discovered this little gem explaining "It was a dark and stormy night " as well as the grand prize winning entry of The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, otherwise known as the worst opening paragraph writing contest.
"Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin’ off Nantucket Sound from the nor’ east and the dogs are howlin’ for no earthly reason...."
for the rest, visit Ghostwoods.
I suggest leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for yourself.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
You can't tell because I tool this from the car, but this is really,really tall corn that's closing in on harvest time.
Have you noticed how much I love my drive home? Isn't this a blueberry and cream sky if there ever was one? Today I wished for really wide lens. Note to self: remember this when it's icy, gray and below zero.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
She-ra was a big hit that year. Everything in her life suddenly changed from Rainbow Bright to She-ra. Honestly, I think some of the independent, powerful qualaties of She-ra influenced her sense of her own empowerment. There were even fewer media role models for young girls in the 80's than there are today.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
The idea has evolved into several thematic books and spawned several other projects. There are more examples in this article at Wired magazine. Even AARP is getting in on the act, with a Six Word Memoirs project with varying topic assignments.
For me, to be successful at this this, the words must connect and somehow form a coherant thought. Obviously, if six free standing words do it for you, go for it. It sounds so easy, doesn't it. I've found it's really quite difficult. Try it. Share your story.
Supporting player, never the star, survives.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I found them by the onesies on Amazon, so for Father's Day I indulged the TV spurred craving to grow his own tomatoes. To be fair, I don't like tomatoes so I really didn't have a hard time throwing cold water on the idea. Selfish, huh?
He got it put up and planted immediately. It's surprizingly well made and I do think he'll get more than one season out of it. The planter even included the swivel hook to hank it from. Gotta admit, the plant is quite healthy and already has 3 nice tomatoes on it. Plus, it's nice to see it growing on the patio without sacrificing any floor space.
We already have precious little patio space, thanks to last years Father's Day gift... what was intended to be a modest size grill for our 2 person family with only a tiny size patio ended up being a behemoth that the Viking is truly in love with. What the heck; it was Father's Day.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Life isn't always as we plan it. This mama swallow and her mate worked for 2 weeks building this nest. Mouthful by mouthful, the mud drops built up reinforced with bits of dried grass. The nest was built in exactly the same place as the year before, and the year before that and probably for the last 10 years that this building has been here. We've lived here for 3 seasons now and somehow, each summer they build within an inch of where the previous years nest had been. Even though the nest had been cleared away, they knew just where to build. Safely tucked away under the roof of the porch above, they'd have their family and life would go on as before.
Until this year. When the rains came this year, they just didn't seem to stop for very long. And when they did stop, the air was heavy with dense humidity. Everything seemed ok for the swallows. Lots of rain meant more bugs to eat. We watched them feeding in the evenings, admiring their graceful, swooping and soaring flight. Each feeding in turn, assuring the nest was protected at all times. I took this shot just as Mama was setteling in for the night. She'd gotten so use to us, she didn't even care. I have read that swallows mate for life and the same pair will return to the nesting grounds. Who know what they thought of us, but we certianly enjoyed their presence.
The day after I shot this photo, the nest slid to the ground, smashing the four tiny eggs to bits. The adults kept flying in and darting out. They seemed confused by the disaster. I can relate. I think most of us can. Who hasn't had an unexpected event turn their world upside down? One minute life is going along just as you planned and in the next, you are reeling in reaction to the fact that life will never again be as it was. And what do you do from here?
Well, if you're a swallow, you pick up a mouthful of mud and you spit it at the underside of a porch and then you fly off and get another. And then another and another because to stand still is death. And life goes on. And so must we all.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
And that all takes time. And energy. It takes a lot out of a girl. Literally. I've been killed at least 4 times. Poor sports, I have learned, exist in the virtual world as well as in real life. Where is all this mayhem taking place? Mafia Wars on Facebook.
I've never been a gamer until this past week. It started with an innocent request on Mother's Day to join the my daughter's mafia in her game. "Even if you don't play, Mom, it will help me" she said. " And by the way, I need an energy pack when you do". So I did.
I was immediately recruited by my sister and brother-in-law for their mafias. Then my neice. Then a whole bunch of people I have no idea of where they came from, but now are a part of my "family". And now, just a week later I am level 38, have 75+ million in the bank, massive amounts of armaments, cars and protective body armor. And laundry to do. And vacuuming.
What is it about this game that gets people so instantly hooked? Would it be so incredibly popular if we weren't in a recession and feeling that we have no control over so many things in life? What do you think?
Saturday, May 09, 2009
This is what kicked up the rock that broke my windshield. Considering that I drive a Saturn that seems to barely come to the top of the tires, it was hardly a fair fight. And some people think there are no giants!
Another view of my ride home, just cause I know no one believes I have such a horrible commute. Harbine, NE. Pop 66 - 5:30 pm on a weeknight.
Friday, May 08, 2009
It's Friday. Cloudy and pretending to rain. I had car issues this morning. Had to turn around, go home, not be able to open the damn coolant reservoir cap,discover we don't own a wrench large enough to do so, take the Viking's car, put gas in it and remember where the wiper blade control was.
A very, very large piece of farm machinery caused a new crack in my windshield yesterday evening.
I have coffee now. It will be a good day. It will be a good day.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
This is the most unusual wedding favor I've ever seen. The other side has the bride and groom's name embossed in hot pink.
Of course, I've not been to many weddings in the last 20 years, and times change. I'm guessing there were no frilly little bottles of bubbles at this one!
This is a marryin' place. We've been invited to another wedding in a couple of weeks; the third in less than a year. Weddings are hopeful celebrations. We need more of those.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
I work for an animal supply company. I spend my days writing and thinking about pets and their well being. It's not completely unheard of to be engrosed in my work and suddenly be brought back to life by something furry brushing against my leg or a slobbery face poking at my knee. It's a great way to spend the day.
That was at least, until these guys showed up.
I don't know if they are going to be window props or actually for sale or just lined up along the entry way to see who'll be the first to actually throw a ball toward them. It could happen. Actually, they're meant to be topiary forms and are densly packed sphagnum moss and wire. I can kind of envision them covered in ivy or trailing petunias. Almost. Sort of.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
All the small towns in this area grew to prosperity and dwindled into shadows of themselves at the dictate of the railroad. Populations grew to provide the workers and services needed by major railroad round houses in Wymore and Fairbury. Even little Odell (above, pop 300 give or take) owes its location to the train. Years ago, Odell use to be located nearby but because of a change in the tracks demanded by the railroad, the entire town just picked up, buildings, kids, dogs, the works and moved to their current location.
When the glamour of railroads began to fade away, so too did the small towns. They didn't totally dissappear but they changed. The older folks have memories of busier days, prosperous downtowns and honky tonk nights. Somehow I doubt my own stories of past days will provide nearly the texture of these small towns. Suburbia, automobiles, fast food, television and life before the world wide web just doesn't seem to have the same texture.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Here's how Southeast Nebraska is ending up the weather week. This week we have had sunny days in the upper 6o's, days that haven't gotten out of the 30's, tornadoes, foggy crips mornings and now snow. There are gorgeous,tender little green shoots coming up in the fields and farmers are turing the dark,burnt looking earth. One was actually burning off his fields this week as I was on my way home from work. And this morning, snow. For me, it's just a mental slap in the face. For others who have lived in this region longer than I, this is to be expected. One thing I have learned while living in farmland, farmers must never forget the ultimate power of Mother Nature and they have to be the most optimistic of souls to pin their lives on her whims.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Much of the personality of the US has been absorbed by massive chain stores, restaurants, look alike malls and developements. For some people, I suppose this is comforting and eases the anxiety that a move to a new location may bring. For me, it's not really comforting, it's distressing to know that individualism is dissappearing. Even if it is corporate individulism, it's still a loss.
Next up, a glorious giant peach in Gaffney, South Carolina. It's out in the middle of nowhere and sort of looks like a big golf ball. It's always a lovely color. I think the painters in Gaffney should be complimented on how skillfully they have perfected the blush on this peach.
Hit the road. See what's lurking in your world that refused to be covered in a facade of sand colored brick and stucco.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
But, I am a pretty good sport, so I'll play. Photo tag is all about on the spot photos. So although it's taken me three days to get it posted, here I am as I was "tagged". At work on a Friday afternoon.
Now, who do I tag....hmmm..... maybe my neice who's been missing from her blog for far too long. You know who you are! So whenever you read this, drop what you're doing and take a photo of yourself. Come out from behind that sewing machine and smile for the camera.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I'm like thousands, soon to be millions I'm sure, who read this blog daily. I like spying on her life. 99% of her recipes inspire me to get creative. 100% of her photographs inspire me. She's my daily lunchtime companion and doesn't even know it.
Someday,I'll bet she becomes an Oprah guest. Then there will be the cover of People and Time. I hope it doesn't go to her head. Nah, she'll still be writing about dog kisses and cows.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Isn't Wilber just the cutest little town?
Remember those inviting little kolaches from a couple of weeks ago? We decided to forego breakfast and have kolaches once we got to Wilber.
First surprize, they weren't really very good. The filling was delicious, but the roll part was just straight, bland white bread. I was expecting a richer roll, like a cinnamon roll. I don't know if this is a typical kolache or just the result of an uninspired baker, but it was a little dissappointing. I decided right then that a nice layer of cream cheese frosting would help redeem the poor little kolaches.
When we got home, I made the frosting and alas, it didn't help tremendously. The roll just wasn't that good. However, a loaf of homemade rye bread we picked up is fantastic. We still like Franks.
Still feeling adventurous, instead of heading straight home, we decided to head north on a road we'd never been. It took us through more of the same farmland that surrounds us, and we were happy with our adventure. Then the second surprize of the day! Driving past a rustic sign for Bluestem State Park, we saw this as we drove by.
We backed up on the road (remember this is the middle of nowhere farmland) turned into a gravel road and within seconds saw this.
A very large lake with a very large, very loud snow geese party happening. The migration is still in progress but we had no idea this lake existed.