Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome 2010

Has it really been since Halloween that I last posted? I've been writing regularly in my head... honest I have... but it just doesn't seem to land on this virtual page by simple thought transfer. Whats up with that? I thought in 2010 things like that were suppose to happen.

Since Halloween, the Viking and I have left Farmland and moved about 700 miles due south to Texas! All good, all carefully planned and carried out but still mentally and physically completely exhausting.

I don't know who owns all the stuff I ended up packing and unpacking but they need to seriously downsize. Or get busy on Ebay.

It's a bittersweet thing, this move. Our family is complete again and there are no words for the sweetness in that. Fortunately, my employer has let me keep my job and I'm able to work remotely. Thank you, Tim Berners-Lee (not Al Gore!) for inventing the World Wide Web. Sadly, I left friends and coworkers I truly care about and instant messaging and emailing don't take the place of a little conversation at copier.

It's traditional on New Years Eve to look back at the year with either fondness or a hearty good riddance! This has been a very difficult year for many people I know and I sincerely wish all good things to come their way in 2010. I've been lucky this year in many areas and I'll remember it for happy times and genuine affection I never anticipated.

I've never been good at resolutions. I always forget them in a day or two. So I just don't make them anymore. What about you? Happy New Year, I hope it brings you more smiles than tears!





Saturday, October 31, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening

This week has been like riding the weather rollercoaster, temps ranging from 30 to the current 63°,gray and rainy, flurries and heavy enough frost to have to scrape the windshield in the morning. It's an unusually sunny and mild day here in Farmland for Oct. 31. I've even got the patio door open and the yard is getting it's last mow of the year.

So the creatures who'll be wandering the streets tonight will get a bit of a break; no coats to spoil their costumes, maybe? When I was a kid, there wasn't much worse than having to put a coat OVER my costume! Of course, the costume never fit over the coat. At least where I lived, we never had snow to contend with on Halloween. The Viking lived in northern MN and does remember trick-or-treating in the snow.
Aren't these kids cute, coats and all?

My age is showing, I suppose, but it seems to me that it's not nearly as much fun for kids today as it was to trick-or-treat in the '60's. We lived in a typical for the era large suburban development filled with young families. Halloween was an exciting night, kids got to roam the streets alone (we'd have been mortified to have a parent along.) and no one was concerned about kidnappings, poisoned or otherwise tampered with candy or truly destructive behavior. Even though there'd be hundreds of kids out, no one needed a kid radar tracking alarm tucked into their pocket.

The worst things I ever knew about, even as a teen, was TP-ing trees or if someone was really awful, egging a neighbors house. There were always some rougher, older kids who'd gang up later with a six pack, but that was really about it. Other than staying in a group with your own friends, no other cautions were needed.

We were true innocents then. We accepted all kinds of goodies into our huge double handled paper shopping bag size treat sacks. Apples. Popcorn balls. Loose candy. Bring it on. Anything was good, but for me --keep the Mary Janes please.

We lived dangerously.

We actually ATE CANDY IN THE DARK.

Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain to you all. I hope you find a playful spirit in your memory this enchanted evening.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Seafood Pie for the Viking

Today is the Viking's birthday. He wanted a special dinner at home. Me, I always opt for a special dinner OUT that no one has to cook or clean up after. But, at least on this day, his wish is my command.
The menu: Grilled rib eye steak, Shrimp and Scallop Pie New England Style and colorful veggies that may not actually be eaten. Let's cook!

Start by pounding the heck out of a sleeve of Ritz crackers. If you're really careful, you can do it and keep them in the sleeve. I hate clean-up, so I go for careful rather than full on aggression soothing attack on the cackers. I love, love, love my Pampered Chef weapon of mass destruction. I thought it was a little pricey when I ordered it, but no longer. It's very well balanced and heavy enough to pound anything into submission. You're going for medium size crumbs here. Set them aside when you're done.

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.
Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning on the raw shrimp. Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Squeeze on the juice of half a lemon. Mix them all together and let the shrimp marinade in this spicy goodness for at least an hour.

I've lived in many places and my cooking has been influenced by them all. Sometimes, I get nutty and do this stage with Tabasco. Sometimes, it's just a blend of fresh herbs, but Old Bay is my go-to hands down favorite.
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.

Back to the crackers. You didn't think I'd forgotten them, did you? Never, ever. Humble Ritz crackers are really the key to this dish. In a large bowl, melt half a stick of butter. Butter. I repeat, Butter. I do it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add all of the crushed crackers to the melted butter. Mix well. Use all the butter cracker crumb mix to top your seafood mixture.
Next, they go into the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Remove, let cool briefly and either serve in ramekins or family style. You won't believe how good this dish smells when it's ready to come out of the oven.

See, it's really simple. And flexible. This is my version of a traditional New England Lobster Pie. Of course, Lobster Pie is one of those dishes with many, many versions. And yes, it is a million times better with fresh Maine lobster but that's not available to me here. So I make do and I tinker with recipes. I think that's where the creativity in cooking comes in. And I cook by feel. I guess after 40 years of cooking you just do that.


Sometimes, when I want to fool around in the kitchen, I'll make a very light cream sauce, add the wine and pour it over the seafood. But, usually, I'm into quicker versions of my favorite things. Fortunately, this is one where you can have all the flavor without some of the fussier steps.

And by the way, the veggies did get eaten.

Now, don't you wish you'd been at my house for this birthday supper. Now I have to do the dishes. It's not MY birthday.



Ingredients for Scallop & Shrimp New England Style Pie:

Raw Scallops
Raw Shrimp
Old Bay Seasoning
Garlic Powder
White Wine/Sherry
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
Butter, real butter. This is not a diet day recipe.
1 Lemon - not the stupid little yellow plastic squeeze one please.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Very Special Birthday Surprise


This my friends, is an extremely special birthday gift. This is the culmination of 5+ year search for a photo of this building. It's an enhanced print of the original Bill Library in Ledyard, Ct. In 1867, $1000 dollars was given to the Town of Ledyard by Mr. Henry Bill, to establish a free lending library. You can read about it here, thanks to Google's book project.

Always a voracious reader, landing my first "adult" job at The Bill Library, earning minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1971, was more than I'd ever dreamed of. Quite a change in status from babysitting for only .50 an hour! I read almost every book in the library.

The library had ghosts, leading to my lifelong interest in such matters. I learned alot about life from working in the library and it didn't all come from books. I also met The Viking in a very unusual circumstance in the library, a long time ago. There are many heartstrings tied to this modest Queen Anne building that sits across from the Congregational church, in what use to be the center of a tiny New England hamlet.

Because it was such an everyday part of our lives, no one took photographs. Developing was expensive in those days and in my family, at least, mundane daily things didn't rate the expense. Eventually, the town decided to expand the library. I had not seen it for many years and then one visit home, it had morphed into this.

My sister, Chia (crafter extraodinaire) also worked there as a teen. It was a big part of our lives. Off and on, we've both tried to find an old photo of the original building with no luck. Then one day, months ago she emailed me a black & white photo! The Holy Grail ( or one of them anyway) had been found!

She has a knack that way. Some day, I'll tell you about her amazing luck in reclaiming a photo album of 1800's era relatives that had quite a journey.

Not long ago, on her blog she describes how the black and white came to be this impressionistic print that is now mine. To most other people, it's just another building that has been modified to better meet the needs of our growing society. To me, it's a treasure chest glowing in the darkest corner of an attic, full of mystery and promise.

I am touched beyond words.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Birthday Surprises


The 15th anniversary of my 39th birthday was this past week, as The Viking, ever kind and gentle, pointed out to me. Because it was a midweek day, we didn't plan much, just dinner out. Mexican. Good Mexican, which is no small feat in the middle of Farmland. We're lucky to have a 3 star place here in town.

His gift for me didn't arrive on time but he is a great gifter so whenever it gets here I'm sure it's going to be just right.

He usually gives gifts first thing in the morning, so although the logical adult side of me knew it
was just a matter of time before it arrived, the birthday child inside was a little bummed out when I left for work with nothing fun having happened.

Then I got to work and the fun started.


It was an all day birthday party! Complete with a flaming birthday cake and a singing group of cake escorts. It's mildly embarrassing when they outline the cake in enough candles to torch the place and you know it's nowhere near enough.

Ok, so not really. It was fun.

At the end of the day, another surprise. The mail man had left a package pick-up slip in our tiny apartment mail box. Score! What's more fun than a totally unexpected birthday surprize?

Yeah, I couldn't think of anything either.

The Viking was kind enough to go pick it up while I luxuriated on the couch with a fresh pot of coffee Saturday morning. I think it occurred to him that we'll be celebrating the 22nd anniversary of his 39th birthday soon, and maybe doesn't want me to remind him!

Oh Look!
Bubble wrap from my sister! She is a crafter extraordinaire, so maybe in her mind this qualifies as art supplies.

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!


Filled with flights of fancy and adorned with the most delightful fibers in my favorite colors, this alone would have been enough of a gift. It makes my soul sing. If you fall in love with this little gem too and want to make one, check out Chia's blog, she'll teach you.

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.

Just like a birthday, anticipation is half the fun!

Friday, July 31, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night

Did you ever wonder where the phrase " It was a dark and stormy night" originated. Everytime I saw or heard of it, I did and then it floated right on through my butterfly brain....oh. alright. I'll stop.

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

Blueberry Skies

Because of this little event on my way home, I was able to drink in the biggest, bluest skies and clouds of the summer. Windows down, 78 degrees, moderate breeze; if you have to wait on construction, this is the way to do it.
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

The Fourth of July in Farmland

Tradition exists in middle America, like this annual celebration in nearby, Fairbury,NE. Enjoy. Video by Keith Trimm, soundofffairbury.com.


Happy Birthday!

It's my favorite daughter's birthday today! That's safe to say because she is the only daugher, only child for that matter. So without hesitation, my favorite daughter! This was taken a looooooong time ago, when she turned 7. It was the year of She-ra, Princess of Power!

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.

Even at 7, the girl knew who she was and where her line in the sand would be. She hated being the victim of the inevitable "girl-gang" cliques that even grade school girls form, so she was always trying to make friends with the outsider kids or stand up for the weaker ones. At seven, her sense of fair play was already deeply ingrained.

She was awkward in ballet class, fearless on her bike. She wrote her first book; the awakening of her lifelong passion; books and writing. She loved that her birthday was July 4, but hated being called a "little firecracker".

She was opinionated and obstinate. Loving, kind, generous and magical. As she is today.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Life in Six Words

I read about an interesting project begun by Smith magazine magazine, encouraging readers to tell their stories in only six words. It was inspired by a very short (and I do mean very short) story written by Heminway. Only six words to speak volumes; "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

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.

Here's mine.

Supporting player, never the star, survives.






Sunday, June 28, 2009

Topsy Turvy Tomatoes

The Topsy Turvy Tomato planter is all the rage this summer. It's on TV about a hundred times a night, especially if you're watching lots of wee am hours TV like the Viking does sometimes. He really wanted to try this out, but I was the wet blanket who didn't want to buy 2 and spend the $20. One, ok.

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.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Life Goes On


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.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Boys Toys

They say the only difference between men and boy is the size of their toys. What do you think?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bees


Look what I saw yesterday while out doing errands. There is a huge stump less than 6 ft away of a newly cut tree. I'll bet the bees lost their home and now are apartment hunting. I'm glad I don't live on this corner.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

M-I-A- Mafia Wars

So, I've been M-I-A for a bit and if you're family or real life friend, you know why. If you're not. well, then you probably don't care. It's just that I've been busy holding up stores, knocking off rivals, running from the FBI and taking out rouge cops. And racking up a milions and millions of dollars, buying armored cars, casinos and gifting my family with things like napalm and c4 and tommy guns.

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

Giants Roaming the Road


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

Drink Coffee
Drink Coffee


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

Project 52 - Week 16 - Wedding Favor Koozie

We've all finally beat the illness that laid us low last weekend. We did miss a wedding, but the bride was thoughtful and brought favors to those who weren't able to attend.

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

Jack and Cat Curio Makes Me Crazy



Every work day at lunch, I visit my favorite blogs while I eat. I catch up with my family. Then I go and drive myself totally crazy and visit Jack and Cat Curio. Today, I was delighted to see Mr. Jack has added me to his blog roll. So now I must confess how I really feel about this....

See Mr. Jack, you drive me crazy... here I am stranded in the middle of artistic nowhere farmland, with no craft stores within hundreds of miles, no access to that group vibe that happens on "art day" with a group of friends and inspires you all to greater creativity, and worst of all..... my sister is your neighbor (so to speak) and actually gets to go to your classes!


You tweak my artistic nerves and make me restless. You stir up such a sense of longing to make something for the sheer joy of the process, that I can barely stand it. Just the thought of warm pots of beeswax ( or whatever it is you'd melt it in) almost makes me want to weep. And I keep coming back for more.

Thank you for letting me not forget that art is the journey.....no matter how your journey twists and turns, art exists as a state of mind. Art is.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Creepy or Cute: Your Call


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.

 Truthfully, they make me think of the Shining. 


And then there's the rabbit...whom one of my coworkers suspects of steroid abuse.  So, I leave it to you; cute or creepy? 

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Digital Hybrid Scrapbook Project - Big Brother

My boss welcomed a new son to her family Friday. She and her husband already have one unbelievably cute little boy, who is about to turn 5. I got the idea as I was picking up a baby card for them, that the new big brother needed something too. Surely,  I thought , Hallmark has thought of new siblings. 

Apparently they haven't. 

So I created my own card.  Searching for a theme, I came across this really cute digital scrapbook kit, Blastoff. If you like it, you'd better hurry and get it, right now until 04/07 its a blog train freebie

The inside of the card, has the cutest little space dude and pals. It's a bit hard to see in this picture, but the banner he's holding says "Out of this World." 

I really wasn't thinking space when I started this, but one look at the astronaut  and I was hooked. The new big brother is also a red head. A match made in heaven, right? 


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hear the Train A Comin

There was a little delay in getting home this evening. Seems like the Union Pacific had their own adgenda and it didn't include my plans at all. I cross this piece of track twice a day, rarely am I stopped by the train. A couple of the cars behind me seem to be impatient, edging closer, trying to get a glimpse of the caboose. They didn't have much luck. This was one of the hundred long coal trains that are an every day occurance here. I don't mind at all. Waiting on the train reminds me to remember, to slow down and savor the stories of the past.



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

Unpredictable March

march snow in nebraska
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

Roadside Giants


Here in Nebraska where I live, yesterday there were tornadoes in my part of the state and blizzards in the other side of the state. Work was nuts and my entire family must have had a bottle of crazy water. It's definitely time for a road trip.

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.

Happily, there are still interesting things along the way, remarkable icons that haven't been zoned out of existance. Here are a few from my own travels.

This is the largest coffee pot in the US. It's just outside of Omaha, NE on I-80. It's 110 ft tall and use to be a water tower. I've heard that at some times, it actully "perks" and there's a flashing light in the top and steam from the spout. I drive by this one several times a year, maybe one of these days I'll see it perking along!


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.
Proudly proclaiming itself as the peanut capitol of the world is Ashburn, GA. Heading to Florida on I-75, you can't miss it! It's probably a good thing that it doesn't emit a warm peanut aroma, cause in this part of Georgia all you're apt to find are boiled peanuts by the roadside and to someone not born in this part of the world, there's not much less appealing than boiled peanuts. Trust me on this one. I tried them. Once.


Finally, back north in Bemidji, Minnesota we have Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. How can you not love Paul...strong, dark, tall and handsome. Everything a folk hero should be. And Babe, well she's blue. She's a little crosseyed, but you can count on her.

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

Princess Luna

Her Royal Highness, Princess Luna

Project 52 Week 11 Photo Tag

So my "evil" sister photo tagged me. I think most people don't care for seeing themselves in photos and I'm no exception. I don't know what deviltry happens inside the camera, but the person I always see in the photo sure doesn't resemble the person I see in the mirror!

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

Congrats to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

Congratulations to Ree Drummond of Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog! She won an astounding 3 awards in this years Best of the Web competition. The web's best blogs have been recognized for the last nine years with "The Bloggies". A geeky Oscar. She won for Best Photography, Best-Designed Weblog and Weblog of the Year.

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

Project 52 Week 10 Unexpected Surprizes


This weekend, cabin fever was setting in again, the wonderfully rich sausage from Frank's in Wilber was gone and both the Viking and I could hear the kolaches we passed over on our last visit calling to us.

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.

It was a wonderful event to see, this stop over on their long flight. We got out of the car and just watched a bit. They're a chatty bunch. It really made me wish I had a better camera and a wide angle lens.