Thursday, July 31, 2008

OUTDOOR COOKING

Have you ever covered a potato with wet clay? Stuck it in a hollow under an campfire? Neat huh? If not, you really missed out on a special treat.
What started me remembering the incident, were the groundsmen raking the pine needles up from the pine trees out by the parking area. Also, Food Channel has been obsessed with BBQ. So, I thought I would entertain you with what used to be the original.
Where I grew up, we lived right in the middle of a young pine forest. So, every Spring the ground would be covered several inches in pine needles.
My Dad would put my brother and I to raking up the needle fall from inside the fenced yard and out by the drive and his office cabin. Also, between the house, woodshed and garage port. The rest of the needles out in the woods, were raked up by the guys from the sawmill. But, the guys didn't get to do afterwards, what Bud and I did.
If the weather was just right. No wind, not too dry. Bud and I would go to Mom and ask her for something to bonfire cook. Well, we always had potatoes, so many years, that is what we used.
We would each have our own small pine needle fire. We would dig a shallow hole. Line it with rocks. Tony our dog was always interested when there was food going. So, he would be there. Yeah, he liked fire baked potatoes too.
Make some mud and cover the potatoes with a shell of mud. Put the potato in the hole, cover that with a goodly amount of pine needles. We would burn needles until we thought the potato was done. Took maybe half an hour.
If Mom had purchased some hot dogs and marshmallows that month. Bud and I would toast hot dogs while the potatoes were baking. This would be our supper. Boy, Tony loved those days. He would just sit and drool in anticipation of the treats he would get.
Nothing like a bonfire toasted hot dog. No bun. When we felt the 'tater might be done.
would dig it out of the fire. Scrabble it around on the ground, then pick it up to break the hardened mud casing off. Mostly, they were done enough to eat. We ate the potatoes with salt , butter, and well, charcoal. I don't know, I guess it's a kid thing. Yes, Tony got his share too. Dogs will always like 'people food'.
Bonfire marshmallows are great too. All crispy all around, pull that off, eat it. Then toast the bit that's left. Like getting two marshmallows out of one. Oh, yeah, sometimes we had apples to roast too. Those were good. The heat developed the sugar.
After my kid brother was born, our chore assignments changed, and we didn't get to do that anymore.
Dad had the hired men do all the raking.
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This is a picture of the house where I lived as I grew up. It no longer exists. It was destroyed some time in the 70's. But you can see all the pine trees.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

100th ANNIVERSARY

In the last week's issue of Newsweek, there is an article about Anne Of Green Gables. It is the 100th Anniversary of the release of the first book. There are a lot of amazing centennial events planned. And Anne is more popular than ever. The Japanese just love her.
I didn't know anything about Anne until I was an adult. Anne may be popular in the east and mid-west. But the Wilder books may have been more available. And maybe the librarians deemed the better role models. Anne can seem a bit silly and scatter brained. I don't know.
If you are a real fan, go to the website and see what is still going on. Gas may be going down. A trip may be yet possible.

Monday, July 28, 2008

HISTORY OF THE HORSE

When I found this book on Amazon, I had to have it. But, what a hassle. Took two months to get it. bought it from a seller. not, directly from Amazon. What a mess. You don't want to know.
Anyway the book is great. It is about the migration of the horse, rather than the evolution.
And how the breeds may have been developed for different tribes for different needs.
The Lippinzaners are a type. the original is named: Iberian.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

FOUR FOOTED BANDITS

I ought to have taken a picture of the mischief. But, I was too surprised.
I have a very hard time sleeping. So, awhile back, I had gotten up around 6 o' clock am. I decided to go see if the paper had come. I stepped outside and was completely startled, there were crackers all over the place. And I thought, what? Crackers, where , what-who? Then my brain started to work, and 'oh', Hb. must have forgot and left some in the garage. He usually puts them in our storage area, that has a locked door. So, I went on into the garage, and OH! MY! GOODNESS! There was a half destructed 12 pack case of crackers that been attacked and chewed open. What a mess!! I knew raccoons were destructive, but, wow! There were crackers all over the place, all around the garage, strewn across the main entry and a box scattered down the walk. I even found some out across the side lawn and even out on the outside of the patio, I found three boxes in the case,that hadn't been touched. They were in the middle. I was able to salvage them.
So, I went and woke up Hb. so he could sweep up the mess, before the other two occupants of the tri-plex got up. I wasn't able to help, because, I had been having bad dizzy spells. And I wasn't able to move around too much. What a thing to wake up to.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

WISHES AND DREAMS

At this time in your life, have you done what you hoped to have? Have any of your wishes and dreams happened? Or did you forget about them, because life got in the way?
Do you know anyone who has their dream? Is it a big dream or a small one? Although, really all dreams and wishes are big ones. How old were you, when you began to wish and have dreams?
I had wishes when I was little. But, they were very nebulous. Mostly they were about dolls and having someone to play with. ((I was an adult before I found a kindred soul to share my love of dolls with.) Oh, yes there were other things I wanted. More grown up things.
There were a few small things that have worked out for me. I appreciate every one of them.
But, I think the saddest thing about wishes and dreams. Is that, my Mom and Dad were never granted even one small wish. Nothing, nada, nix, nil-not. We lived well. Wanted for nothing. But, if not fed at lease one wish, life is just a fight. Not one dream or wish either one of them had hoped for came true. One could only wonder why. My brother and I had a hard time too. But, we had what we required. Our problems were other people, who were just too ready to try to belittle us. I would not let them. I developed serveral 'looks', expressions that learned from Mom. My 'green flash', could really scare them. (Mom had a very effective 'blue' flash' glance.)Otherwise, I just did not let people like that into my life or around me. My brother would get into fights. Not fists. He would wrestle them down and sit on them, until they gave up.
Wishes and dreams are wonderous fragile things. If you have one, nurture it carefully. If some have come true, celebrate.
(Strange= blogger won't let me type. correctly.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

DRAGONS

I didn't know what to read next. And I wasn't in the mood to go over to our little Library. So, finally I decided to read the Dragon stories by Anne McCaffery again. I had Hb. bring them down from the Loft. I can't make the stairs anymore. They are just as absorbing as always. I open thew book, begin reading, and I am dropped right into another world. Well, now I have to pick out something else, since I have finished them.
I am not crazy about dragons. Because I am not into the fantasy games thing. I do not own even one Dragon figure. Very likely because not one dragon figure I have come across even remotely resembles the Dragons I see in my mind when I read those stories.
This is the first book in the series.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ODD COLORS

You know, one of the funkey side effects of the all of the smoke in the air, is: We have had a sort of blood orange Sun and also, hah! a Chedder cheese Moon. Nice. So all that is needed is some arugala and some dates or figs. With a little vinigrette. Very California, doncha think?
Or do you think I ought to count acid rain as the dressing?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

AMATEUR THESPIAN ADVENTURES

It's been hot. But that's July. I am totally down. And can't get myself up. The San Jose Ballet Company is performing, I wish I could go. They have a very nice program. And next year, they are going to perform 'A Mid-Summer Night's Dream'. Ooh, but I would love to see that. When I was in college and took theater, we put on an excerpt of the 'Bottom's Dream' sequence. No, I wasn't in that performance. I worked on costumes, scenery and props. I did have parts in some of the other plays we did. But, costuming was what I was really interested in. I was taking the Costume class too. The class designed and made all the costumes for the characters. Sometimes, the costumes were from Goodwill. Or the person's own wardrobe. It was a fun time.
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This is a costume I designed and made for the character of 'Dido'. Danni liked it so well, she tried to buy it. But, Miss Seguin said , no.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

SWEET PEAS

Finally, the Sweet Peas bloomed. Or rather 'a' Sweet Pea finally bloomed. Since I had made that story of the flower of the month, we looked for some seeds. This wine color package is all we found. We almost lost the seedlings when the first hot spell hit. But, so far so good. No, I can't detect a fragrance on them.

Friday, July 4, 2008