Thursday, February 28, 2013

Show and Tell

I was inspired by Elaine and Meggie to post my collection of emerald-green glass. I don't wear jewelry and I'm not attracted to jewels except for emeralds. I love the gorgeous green. I've been collecting green glass objects for many years. Most of these items came from second-hand stores and cost two or three dollars. The one in the middle with the "ruffles" cost the most at $28. I found it in an antique shop and it was so beautiful that I couldn't resist.
                              ( This is in my office)
I also collect cougars, cedar waxwings and Garfields. Most of my large Garfield collection is packed away and some of my better cougar and cedar waxwing pieces too.

On the top shelf on the left side are two teapots that I picked up for my granddaughter when she was collecting them. But she grew up and decided not to collect them anymore, so there they sit.

Building a collection piece-by-piece can be a lot of fun until you reach the saturation point. It seems that when friends and family learn you collect something, they will start adding to it as well (note granddaughter teapots) and pretty soon your passion starts to wane.

                                 (This is in my bedroom)
Here is my vacation souvenir collection. In the midst of it are the two silhouette pictures that my mom had hanging on the dining room wall when I was a kid. They aren't rare and I see that a similar pair sells for only ten dollars on ebay. I'm pleased to have them on my wall anyway.

I am struck by the realization that these photos make me look like a real pack rat! Hmmm...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Turkey tribe news

Life seems to be pretty routine in the wooded lot. I go out and feed the eleven turkeys at sunrise when they descend from the top of the cottonwood tree. They make little clucking sounds when they see me come out of the building carrying the big black bowl of food. I've been giving them a mixture of cracked corn (I just bought two more 50-pound bags) bird seed and bread crumbs twice a day. I occasionally add some oats, raisins or chopped apple.

I thought my little flock was all the turkeys in the area. Yesterday afternoon, four older tom turkeys showed up while they were gone. The toms were earnestly displaying their tails and doing a dance as they circled each other. They would stop all at once, stretch their necks out and gobble furiously and then resume the dance.It's really funny to watch. After half an hour, they all left. They worry me because I know they can be mean.

(Older tom turkeys have a long fleshy flap called a snood in addition to the bright red wattle. Young toms just have a small protrusion. Google image)

The regular flock consists of six females and four young males plus Priscilla, the small female who joined the flock late in the fall. The young males will do some displaying off and on. They flip up their tails and spread their wings and dance in a circle. They even do it on the most bitter cold mornings! The six females just roost in the branches of the fallen tree with their backs turned toward them, conspicuously ignoring them. Priscilla always roosts by herself on a fallen tree farther away. 
                                      (Image from Google)
I wonder what will happen when Spring comes and all those randy males are looking for mates. I hope they all go off into the woods to raise their families. I sometimes think that I may have gotten myself into a real pickle if they all want to come back next fall.

But then again, I think about Priscilla and maybe by next fall she will have her own little flock and won't be the outsider anymore.

Monday, February 18, 2013

God Bless Cool Whip (Again)

I'm tied up working on a volunteer project so I went back in my archives and got this post from 2008. I only had a few followers at the time so it's new to most of you.

What can I say about the blessings of Cool Whip? There it sits in the fridge in it's pristine blue and white container--so easily accessible. You can dip a strawberry at a moment's notice; you can drop a dab on your chocolate pudding cup, peaches or Jello, then sit back and revel in the sensuality of it all.

Back in the "pre-Cool Whip" days, having a creamy, fluffy white topping on your dessert was a luxury reserved for special occasions like having company or Sunday dinner. It required planning ahead and precise timing.

First, you had to remember to buy the whipping cream. You had to keep it cold in the refrigerator and keep the family from sneaking it into their coffee. Then, when you made your special meal (probably mashed potatoes with chicken or roast beef) you had to remember to wash the mashed potatoes off the beaters right away. If you forgot, the dried-on potatoes would screw up the timing to the point of desperation. So, you had the beaters clean, the bowl and mixer at the ready, the cream on standby chilling in the fridge.

You could now sit down to eat dinner with your guests or family but, when the dinner started winding down, you had to jump up to make the whipped cream. (If you whipped the cream too far ahead of time, it would "weep"and collapse.) After you put the chilled cream into a deep bowl, you could start the process.

If you had an electric mixer it didn't take too long but it required concentration. The tricky part was to whip the cream to just the right consistency without doing it too little or too much. Too little, and you wind up with sloppy topping or, too much, you have extra stiff topping larded with bits of butter.

After you had achieved the optimum of beautiful fluffiness, you added the sugar and vanilla. If all went as planned, it was ready to serve at this point. The servings of dessert (say pumpkin pie) had to be lined up and the piece de resistance--a dollop of whipped cream would be lovingly placed on top and then trotted to the dinner table immediately.

The memory of it leaves me breathless!
Now, with our ever-ready tub of Cool Whip, we can enjoy the extravagance of beautiful white fluffy stuff without all that stress. (OK, so Cool Whip will never replace the epicurean delight of real whipped cream, believe me, I can deal with it!) 

Monday, February 11, 2013

You Know You're from Minnesota if:

It's been snowing most of the the day and more is supposed to come tonight. It seems like a good time to post these oldies.

You're a true Minnesotan if:

You're proud we make the national news 75 times a year because International Falls is the coldest spot in the country.

Your Dairy Queen is closed November through March.

 You know several people who have hit a deer with their car.

When someone says, "Uff da!" you look to see what happened, and you always smile when someone mentions Ole and Lena.
You consider 0 degrees Fahrenheit just another cold day.

You know all four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Road Construction season.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching.

You carry battery jumper cables in your trunk and the whole family knows how to use them.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

It's a small bloggie world!

I got a nice "blog-buddy" surprise today.

It all started last summer when I was following the blog of ex-New Yorker Mitch Block at Mitchell is Moving. He posted pictures of the frequent religious parades passing his apartment in Sevilla, Spain. At that same time, I was following the blog of Sharon Wallace at The Odd Essay. Sharon and her husband were in Costa Rica and she posted pictures of the religious parade in the little village near where she was staying. I was struck by both the similarities and stark contrasts of the events.
I commented on Sharon's blog that she should take a look at Mitch's blog. After Sharon became acquainted with Mitch's Seville, she decided that she really wanted to visit there. The upshot is that Sharon and her husband have just arrived in Seville and met up with Mitch. She posted pictures on her blog today.
Last January, Mitch had posted pictures of laborers harvesting all of the Seville oranges from the trees that line the city streets. This triggered my memory of reading about Seville oranges on the blog of a sweet English lady at Barbara Blundell's Blog  the previous January. She was waiting for the Seville oranges to arrive at the green grocer so she could make her annual supply of orange marmalade. She said the season was very short so she had to rush to get them before they were gone from her little village store.
                   (All photos from Google images)
It's such great fun getting to learn about unique people all over the world and making these connections!