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Friday, May 7, 2021

Baking and Waiting for Warmer Weather

I bake about two loaves a week. We sure do love this bread! It slices nicely when laid on its side too! I  have a slicing guide contraption but would rather use my eye. It probably won't raise as well when warmer weather comes and the propane stove is resting for the season. Currently I put it on the rug in front of that stove for its rise before oven baking. 
I am keeping my Mother's Day gifts indoors until it is warmer outdoors. They sure do love the morning sun shining on their counter space in the morning. My Missy brought these over for me to enjoy with a lovely hand-written card. She's so caring!
Our yard guy was planning to remove the porch swing cover and the golf car cover yesterday, but it rained and they were just too wet to fold and bag for summer storage in the shed. He also was also going to apply the annual preservative on James. Our spiritual guardian has not sported his forsythia garland nor his flower one yet as he has been undergoing repairs. I wonder what he thinks about his nakedness! All I can can say at the moment is that the pollen will be washed off due to more raining this coming weekend and next week.   Cheezzzz!

don't forget to tap an image to view larger





Wednesday, May 5, 2021

They're b a c k!!!

Just a quick note to tell everyone that the hummers are back and it is a wonderful sight to see! I wasn't ready, and when the first one was sighted looking for his breakfast, I sure hopped to it!  

Later, there were a couple of different ones enjoying the nectar and up to bedtime, more were visiting. 

Sometimes Mother Nature is dependable.

Monday, May 3, 2021

COMMUNICATION

Most of my friends and relatives know that I do not like talking on the telephone. Never have. I don't like taking part in face to face conversations that include more that two people. One on one is OK. My main method of communication is the written word. It's how I connect. Way back when I started to blog (2009) I found that I could express myself and communicate best with this venue. I also believe I communicate visually, therefore my "creations" and crafts. I love to share and that is a form of connecting as well.

This is my way of delivering my feelings and thoughts. Most of the time I feel that it doesn't matter at all if anyone reads or comments on my blogs or my artwork. Once in a while I do feel a strong relationship is created and that is what I aim to do - connect.

Yes, I'm rambling.  I'm a dreamer - IF I had a large space with paints and stuff, I know my writings would slow down and I would have a grand time expressing all inner thoughts. You say, this, today, is all about me. Yes. I'm feeling confined. Trapped. It's one of those things and now I'm letting it out. Gotta disconnect once in a while. 

Connections matter.



Sunday, May 2, 2021

Race Horse Story

In 1973 we had just settled in at the new lake house and gotten the television hooked up. I remember very clearly that, since I just joined a local horse club and intended to build a barn and have my own horse again, that the Kentucky Derby was all the rage. My new horsey friends inspired me to be sure to watch the race. Soooo, I watched it for the very first time! Oh my!! I STILL remember the thrill of watching Secretariat winning and the fact that I loved him at first sight as he came onto the track. Something deep within my gut said he was special.


For EVERY year after I have watched the derby, never having a desire to attend nor to bet on a winner. BUT! I do pick my favorites.


The odd thing is that I never read about each horse, jockey, trainer or owner before picking my 3 favorites. I really do not! What my method is to just watch the horses as they approach the gate, and then a feeling comes whether this one or that one is a possible winner. I write down their names on a paper, but not in any specific order.


When the race starts, I just watch, BUT if a horse that is on my list is ahead and one of the the fastest, I start to squirm and then breath hard. If one of my three wins, I feel that special satisfaction that I was right! Usually there is someone in the room nearby who can verify that the winner was on my pre-written list. 


The other thing that happens is, many times, although I didn’t chose a winner, ONE of my three was either 2nd or 3rd. TRUE!  I don't think I have miss a single derby race since 1973. 48 years is a long time for enjoying this unique ability and there is absolutely NO EXPLANATION.


This year I chose Hot Rod Charlie, Essential Quality and Medina Spirit. Hot Rod Charlie finished 3rd. Essential Quality finished 4th and Medina Spirit won. (I have a SC friend named Medina, but that's not why I chose this horse.)


I rarely watch the Belmont or Preakness Stakes.


I’ve never had a mint julep.


I do not like hats!


I’ve never been to Kentucky.


I’m not crazy about red roses, especially cut ones.


If you want to see an old lady really get excited, come visit next year to watch the derby with me on TV.  

1979 My Nifty's Bobbi AQHA
foundation stock mare
Go Man Go line
Go Man Go was an American Quarter Horse stallion and race horse. He was named World Champion Quarter Running Horse three times in a row, one of only two horses to achieve that distinction. Go Man Go was considered to be of difficult temperament.


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Nature and Natural

For the last three days I have been brushing down an abundance of  grasses and twigs from a rear carport beam and another area over a power box. It used to be that the persistent female robins would make nests on BOTH the front porch beams and in the carport - even on the horizontal hanging ladder. This year I think the swinging-hanging-moving craft creations protect the front porch. All of the beams in that area used to have water filled plastic soda bottles lined up as deterrents. No more.

Today I have water-filled plastic containers placed as obstacles. No nesting materials there-yet!
                             please tap on image to view larger

Way back in 2007 I wrote a "Memory Story" about wild critters and my interaction with some. This story reminded me of WHY I do not allow robins to nest in the carport. A reason is at the end of this ramble.

NATURE RULES!!!!!!!!

Memory Story


Something you didn't know about me - I have raised and returned to their own habitat, baby squirrels, baby rabbits, baby raccoons, baby groundhogs, baby possums, baby crows, baby owls and more. In fact, the baby squirrels and baby rabbits were put in a clothes basket with my momma cat and she nursed and groomed them along with her own kittens. When they became too playful in the house, I set them free. The squirrels took a long time to adjust to the wild and came, precariously, from the tree to the house on the clothesline, begging for fig newtons (their favorite cookie). Then one day they were gone for good.


I once looked after oriole peeps in a hanging basket that I pinned on the clothesline, too. It had fallen from a tree when they were very young and I found it on the ground.  I would reel it out to the tree and the mother would feed them. I would reel it in to the house so I could see how they were doing. One day they weren't there. I don't know if they flew or were eaten by hawks. The basket was empty except for many little white mites!


I learned early on that if I let the small kittens outdoors the hawks would swoop one up - drop it to kill it - swoop down, get it and fly away. I saw this happen! At first, I thought the kittens had wandered into the woods and got themselves lost, but I could never hear their cries nor find them. It was very upsetting to me.


I killed the crow with "kindness!" Jester was doing nicely in a large home made cage. We had a vacation planned to go to the seashore for the weekend and I put a whole ear of field corn in the cage to last him until we returned. Well......when we came home, he was dead, clutching the perch, with the empty corn cob laying nearby. His crop was huge. We figured he pigged out! Of course he didn't have enough grit in his crop to grind up that much hard corn in one sitting!  Lesson learned.


The raccoons were kept in the horse trailer. I bottle fed them. They were very noisy and loving. When the male became a bit aggressive, I set them free. did you know that they don't actually wash their food? I always had a dishpan of fresh water for them and they would dunk their kibbles before eating. It became apparent that they might not have enough saliva-production to eat. It might also be a habit to better feel their food before tasting it. It is just what they do.


The owls were in auto accidents. Stunned and a bit brain damaged, they were fed bits of hamburger meat until well. It was my brother who found them lying on the road.


If you wonder how I obtained all of these babies, be assured they were all orphans to begin with!  That's another story.


Three years ago, when Ed was recuperating from his heart surgery in May and June, I watched, from my kitchen window in the cabin, a robin build her nest in the carport. I soon saw 4 little eggs. Then, I saw 4 little heads peeking up with mouths opened wide. I saw Momma bird feed those 4 little bare-naked babies. I watched their fuzz turn to feathers. One day I saw a big crow take the last one away in his ugly bill. Boy did that make me angry! Too late for any of them to be saved. I know we shouldn't interfere with nature, but DARN!

GMR April 2007

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Cookie Factory

This cookie factory is shutting down part of its product line. The labor-intensive process is too much for the proprietor to continue to produce this variety. 

You are only seeing half of this morning's bake. The other half is in a freezer container. The recipe makes over 60 cookies! I shall give it to you one more time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This is from an old box. The newer updated version calls for less butter.
The only thing I did different was to add 1 cup of grated walnuts.

Don't forget to enlarge the images!
 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Just Dust

There was quite an accumulation of dust on the stone mantel with all of the ducks and miscellaneous other things there. The complete chimney of bricks all needed to be vacuum brushed and the dust that clings to them removed. It took us all morning. Piece by piece each was taken to the sink for either a bath, a wiping down or a polish. The Mister was able to use the small shop vac to help when I was taking care of the items. We do this once a year. Only once a year! At our age it seems to be more labor-intensive every time. I take pictures to establish just when it is done and how I like it arranged. They really don't do the individual items justice but I'm not showcasing them, just cleaning. That's OK. It's a good feeling to have completed the project. 

"Why Dust?"


Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better

to paint a picture or write a letter,

bake a cake or plant a seed.

Ponder the difference between want and need.


Dust if you must, but there is not much time,

with rivers to swim and mountains to climb!

Music to hear, and books to read,

friends to cherish and a life to lead.


Dust if you must, but the world’s out there

with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,

a flutter of snow, a shower of rain,

this day will not come ‘round again.


Dust if you must, but bear in mind,

old age will come and it’s not kind.

And when you go, and go you must,

You, yourself, will make more dust!

       ~Author unknown to me~

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

April Showers

All I can say is that I know better and warmer days are coming. On April 21, 2021 around noon the stuff came down and it was a white-out!

Next comes the May flowers... They have ten days to get here! The sooner, the better. They bring the hummingbirds!











 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Recipe Needs Help!

A  friend sent this recipe to me last month, thinking I'd like to bake it because we love anything lemon flavored!  I should have studied it more because it lacked some instructions! 

Here is exactly what she sent:

LEMON BREAD


INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel zest from 1 lemon

4 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (I used 1 medium lemon) 

2 1/4 cups flour 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar 

3/4 cup butter softened 

3 eggs (large)

3/4 cup milk 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre-heat oven to 350°, grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and 1 1/4 cups sugar, add the softened butter and with a pastry blender. blend until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the lemon peel.

In a small bowl add eggs and beat lightly with a fork add milk and mix until combined, then pour this mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until flour is moistened.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nowhere does it say when or where the lemon juice is to go into a mix.
  • Nowhere does it say how long to bake it in the oven.
  • And....It should have said to grease AND flour the loaf pan. It stuck - really badly.

I just added the juice into the egg and milk mixture and thought it should bake for about 60 minutes. 


End result - delicious and will slice when cold. It is a bit crumbly. All done by hand - no mixers used.

In the meantime, "Beatrice" my Raku pot is keeping warm on the stove. She sure is pretty!

Tap on image to view larger

 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Just Birds & Deer Here

I think this time I'll try making the slide show order be from 2009 to 2020. It "might" be easier. They don't really get better as I haven't improved much in the area of photography, but I just enjoy seeing them anyway. In other words... eye candy for me. Oh, and yes, I can probably identify all of the birds - or could!

Please click on link below that will take you to a video. This one was a challenge! I have wayyyyyy too many images to go through!

12 minutes of 12 years - Birds & Deer

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Cruising Through My Old Photos

I really need to thin out some of my photos. The computer tells me that I have 28,250 photos on the Macbook Pro laptop alone starting with the year 2009! I'm half afraid to see how many are on the old iMac!

Today I'm choosing some insects, turtles and critters to view again. I have to really hunt for them as my photos are saved in yearly clusters. 

Here goes ... (NO birds, fish or deer this time around) please click on link to YouTube below.

6 minute video

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Fifty Four Years Ago

Today is the birthday of my youngest daughter. She's 54 years old now and has two children, a son age 19 and a daughter age 17. Her husband is going to celebrate his 60th year tomorrow.

She came in a very fast way, almost in the hallway of the hospital. The delivery room trip was out of the question until after she appeared. 

As my fifth child, I should have known not to leave home at the last minute as possible. It all did work out. While her father was parking the car after dropping me off into a waiting wheelchair, she was born and my mother, her grandmother, a hospital employee, was the first to see her!

She is named after a my great aunt who willed me her beautiful hand painted Limoges china collection. 

Her name has the meaning of victory and strength, and fits her well.

please tap image to view these old photos larger
I love reliving good times through viewing my old photos and reviving the memories!

















Sunday, April 11, 2021

Daffodils

 "Daffodils"

~By William Wordsworth~

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Every year I cut a few for my one and only indoor bouquet. They give me pleasure to know that the original bulbs were planted by my mother, oh so many years ago!



Saturday, April 10, 2021

Repairs

James was drawing several gawkers yesterday as they passed by. The reactions were a treasure, especially when I watched two ladies stop, look, and chatter with hand hands going and heads shaking. The discussion would probably have been interesting. You see, our yardman had just completed filling the holes that the bees, bugs, and woodpeckers made last late Autumn when I wasn't paying enough attention to James and his comfort. It's now time for a fix. A little plastic surgery. The first step was to fill the holes. Well, after that operation some seeped out and it looked like he was spewing nasty stuff!

The good news is that the excess material has been removed today and the project will soon be completed with wood putty and stain. That's the plan. Then he can be dressed in his Spring Glory attire! A bluebird came and sat on his head after he was cleaned up so that is a great sign that all will be well.

Speaking of Spring Glory - the daffodils in the old-old rock garden have started to bloom. The ones in the flowerbeds around the front porch haven't. The porch area only gets a few minutes of sunshine in the early morning at this time of year. It's a waiting on Mother Nature Game! She always knows what she's doing.

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Call

This morning when I was baking chocolate chip cookies, the phone rang. When I answered it, a sobbing male voice said, "Grandma? This is your oldest grandson and I need you." Well, I thought about it and my oldest grandson is 32 so (innocently) I replied, "Mike?" Now that wasn't true. My oldest grandson is Nick. Just a senior moment, I guess. The male voice said yes and then told me his long-time girlfriend just died of cancer and he was driving to the funeral when he had a car crash and was arrested. He said he had only 5 minutes to call someone. He said his nose is broken and his lip is cut and the accident wasn't his fault.  (Nick is married, has no girlfriend with cancer. Mike is my oldest Great grandson.)

Well....my brain started to really kick in. ALERT! He asked me if I had a pencil and paper handy. I said no and I asked him why. He said he needed me to write down a number. I said no and he asked me why. I told him he was a scammer and he hung up!

Later the Mister checked the TV which keeps a running list of the phone calls coming in and gave me the number. I Googled it. It belonged to a real estate business in Wyoming Valley. I was going to call them to alert them that their phone number was being used as a scam. Guess what? The number is no longer in service. The Mister checked it again. I researched it again. I tried calling it again. Same result.

I really wonder how many other elderly people would have helped him out of his predicament!!!!! How he got my number I don't know but I do know to always be vigilant. There are some really rotten people out there! I'm one tough cookie with an eye on my bank account. Hope others are as well.

My baked cookies are delicious! James is getting his holes filled. Our yard guy is beginning the spring cleanup, so all is good.

Yes, we ate a 'few'!