Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't see this everyday...

...normally, the girls (Hobbes and Scotchie) don't get this close. Their "other cat" locater sensors must have malfunctioned.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Casserole...after the turkey sandwiches, but before the soup...

I'm sure somebody thought of this before me, but I've never seen a recipe anywhere. I started making these about 20 years ago. It varies from year to year, of course. Just construct a casserole of leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, mashed potatos, stuffing, peas/green beans/carrots; a little left-over gravy to moisten.
Sprinkle crumbed corn bread on top, if you have some. Bake at 350-degrees for 40 minutes to heat it thru. Tonight we had little portions, along with a simple green salad---almost healthy again....well, we did finish the pumpkin pie....

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I. Love. Red. Always have. Cooking your own cranberry sauce for the holidays is a satisfying and fun way to enjoy the color red.
1 package cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Simmer all together gently in a big shiny pan with the nice bright light over it, so you can enjoy all the red. Take a picture, if you like. When the skins of the berries are all popped (hence the name cranbubbles) you're almost done. Just cool to room temp., then store til needed in the 'fridge.
I like to replace a bit of the water with equal part lemon juice. Just makes it better. A Happy kick-off to the Holiday Season to All!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crystal Rainbow

We have some of those crystals you hang up in a window and get colors on the walls. So naturally, eventually I got around to trying to photograph one: turned out fairly well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Don't usually see one of these standing around... in Ill. Outside of town, on a very quiet gravel road, we saw a little burro and it's goaty little companion. So I took the official photo, for the record. You just never know what you will find out there to record. (p.s. this is one of those "click on the image for a better view)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Silver Sun

This made me think of some outpost in the frozen north. The sun was so completely veiled, it seemed more like the moon. Hubs' was fascinated with the old building, located in the heart of Lena's business district, next to the railroad tracks, which are still active. Likely, a style of old freight house.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Where is Rapunzel?

In Lena, IL we found this interesting water tower. It's a bit over 100 years old and an the National Registry of Historic Places. Unique; we like to visit the random little towns and villages that dot the map. The Rail/Trail biking habit guarantees that we ride thru the "back yards" of these hamlets. So I can say that this is the first tower like this I've ever seen. Impressive. We were not biking this day, just taking a chilly stroll after brunch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Going Rogue--4 year old style--at the Furry Friends Party

One curious and brave little party-maverick decided to go check out a gaggle of canada geese far across the park. She was off like a shot, undeterred by parents' cries for her to stop and come back. She headed straight into the flock, waving her arms and doing her best to get the geese upset; her little face (eyes) at beak-level to the geese. They are feisty birds; I have experienced several "goose charges" when I'm riding my bike. So there's my brother in the striped shirt, after the drama was over, herding the little outlaw (just behind the bush) back to the group. Good times.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Celebrants discover the nature of prairies... autumn. Here are three of them, along with an instructor from the center. They did a good job of making it interesting for the little kids; there were about 12 kids in all, along with a few parents and extended family members.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Furry Friends - Chapter 2

In which the children were conducted on the nature walk on a nice path around this pond. Keeping with the Addams Family spirit of the weather, my brother (and dad of the birthday girl) lowered the video camera as they were leaving the water fowl observation deck long enough to say "this reminds me of the pond behind the Bates Motel, as they were hauling the car out...", literally over the heads of the little peeps.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Once again, a sombre Saturday sonata...

...the day of the "furry friends birthday party" featured one of those mottled platinum skies we sometimes have around here in November. But it was warmer than it looks. This is what happens when you have your birthday in November....The party was held at a Park District Nature Center, and included a short nature walk--try showing 5-year olds a lot of dry prairie grasses--then the opportunity to carefully pet a large bunny and a small fluffy guinea pig (did someone say Fluffy?) a tour of the center's live animal collection, including two huge snapping turtles and a light yellow corn snake. Then the kid's came back, sanitized their hands and ate cake.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Outside my window...

in the office, Hubs' hung the thistle feeder so it hangs just inches from the glass. Mainly, this feeder attracts the goldfinches; once in a while a few other small birds. The goldies aren't so gold just now. In fall the males replace their brilliant yellow feathers with their olive-drab suits, making them look like the females do year 'round.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Recent bird report....

at the feeder the other day, we had a chickadee or two. They are quick little devils, so it is not so easy to snap a photo. Today, we still had the 'dees, as well as a nuthatch and a fox sparrow. And the rest of the usual suspects, like the juncos, cardinals, goldfinches, housefinches and the "flying mice" aka the house sparrows. A couple of blue jays investigated the big pine tree in back. (since west nile virus, we see few blue jays.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hobbes knows the rules...

she is allowed outside with supervision, but only if she stays out of the grass. (She's elderly, she's de-clawed and we'd rather she not get fleas). She knows we (I) will take her back inside if she starts eating grass; so she coyly keeps paws on the border stones. Once she knows she's observed, she usually just heads for the backdoor on her on. She's a smart cat; always has been.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What kind of sicko....!!?

...but, actually I thought this was great! Not sure whether it's a DIY-job or some Halloween store sells these by the million, but this is the only one I've seen. The photo worked out pretty well, too, considering the light was dim.

The Last Butterfly of our Season was Freed Today...

He is a spunky male version of a Monarch--see those little black spots on the under wings--that means he's a Boy. He was anxious t...