Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Winter-White Party Cake...

...with the help of Betty Crocker. I use the cake mixes, and I am inspired by the "deluxe" instructions on the back or side of the boxes. Then, I change things to "make it my own". In this case, I left out some peanuts and snicker bars, but added some good chocolate chips, frosted the thing with a cream cheese frosting I had left over from a carrot cake, and added the cherries. There is a butter/brown sugar/cream drizzle on the cake that makes it special. I've never followed a recipe in my life. The cake is now history.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Back to reality...

it's cold and snowy--and very pretty outside.
Yesterday, our summer baby bunny (all-growed-up now) visited underneath the bird feeder with a nervous squirrel. Just trying to snare enough sun flower seeds to keep going till the grass lets lush once again: three and a half, maybe four months.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Evil Barbb Christmas story, of sorts...

we have a surrogate-"grandchild", a 5-year old niece: she of the "furry friends birthday party event" previously covered. She is a big fan of the original Wizard of OZ movie, but with a twist: her passion is not young virtuous Dorothy and her sweet little dog. Instead, our girl loves the witches--of East and West. She has dressed for Halloween in the same green-faced witch custume for two years now--it won't fit next year. Comes Christmas: at school, the children are asked what they want for Christmas (not a public school, naturally) so the requests could be forwarded to parents. The girl declares a green-faced witch; I am happy to supply--except there is some confusion at the last minute about whether it's really the green-faced witch or the witch in the red dress; there is also a shortage of red-dress barbie-witches. Santa, at the North Pole, was so confused he actually had to call my sister-in-law on her cell phone with the child present to confirm the request, which was "red". As it happened, this was funnier than it is in the telling; but here is the doll, and the answer to the question we've had all these years: what did the deceased Witch of the East look like before she was hit with the house? Like Angelina Jolie, it turns out.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Uncle Bob's Restaurant in Lena...

...see, lots of cars; lots of peeps in seats inside. Hubsy calls this "the after church crowd"; harking back to his baby-boomer boyhood in Kansas in the 1950's; Leave it to Beaver days, in other words. They had a real latte in a real china mug (large). Hubs had a ham-loaf dinner, which was very homey and very good.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Uncrowded street scene in Lena....

...back in November when we drove out to look at some listings near Freeport. To be exact, this was a raw, cold Sunday morning and most people were parked at a nice restaurant down the street, warming themselves with french toast and latte's. I like the restoration and decoration that was done on this office front.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hubs likes this one better.

Sunset, Dec. 17, 2009

Near the winter solstice, I like to hop out the front door and snap a quick record of a warm glowing 'set. As if, since it looks so warm and peachy, it somehow is. In earlier years, the pictures were better, but then they built that larger home on the corner and it blocks out the horizon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rustic Rail Line, Galena, IL

Hubs' like anything with a train in it: museums, tracks, rail-to-trail bike paths, whatever. He sees to it that I always get enough railroad site seeing! He likes Galena because there is a place where the tracks make such a severe curve that the trains wheels make a lot of screechy noise. Little boy fun! This isn't the place, it's the other way. But it's quite noisy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Galena isn't settling for this recession....

Woo-hoo! My first non-family member comment on my blog!! Seemed like an alert guerilla-marketer encouraging tourism to the fair little city. So I'll bite: I like to go to Galena with Hubsy to take a long, long walk all around town.
We mostly window shop, look at houses and scenes, take pictures, etc. The town is crawling with restaurants, so we definitely have a good lunch someplace among them. It is like a little getaway to the 19th century, without the horse poop in the streets and the contagious diseases.
Hubsy is "good" for a trip about every two years: that's just Hubsy. This photo shows Mrs. Grant's view of the town, assuming she had time to sit around and enjoy it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ok--Just a second....

just finishing up with a nice bath...then I'll wish you a
Happy Chanuka. I'm only a cat, so I may not spell it right.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Something with snow in it....

...taken last winter on a getaway to Galena, IL.
This is US Grant's historic former pre-Civil War home. A nice old brick home. Unfortunate placement of photographer (me) regarding that one tree, near center. We live and learn; that was then: now I'd probably watch for something like this.

Monday, December 7, 2009

So, I was telling you about this book...

"My Faraway Home" by Mary Mckay Maynard. It made me think of the novel, "A Town Like Alice" by Nevil Shute, except this is a memoir written years after the events; amazingly, the author maintains her sense of wide-eyed wonder at all that was happening around her; circumstances she has no control over. Like a child holocaust survivor's account, only in the tropical jungle.

And, Family, the author actually knew our Uncle Fred Feigel! He was the assistant to her father in the operation of the Mother Lode Gold Mine on Mindanao! I found the book by googling Fred's name one evening a month or so ago. She knew Aunt Jean, Fred's wife, too. Amazingly small world, sometimes. I'd heard about the submarine rescue of Jean, and this book tells the exciting story of how all that went down. They had all been stranded due to the Japanese attacks all over the Pacific that included Pearl Harbor--by coincidence, the anniversary today--and had to hide out at the company's remote mining camp. Had they been found, they all would likely have been killed. Several of the men, including Fred, were eventually killed by the Japanese.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Big Dictionary is back with a word:

Palimpsest - a parchment or the like, from which the writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text.

I'm reading "My Faraway Home" by Mary McKay Maynard; a WW II-era memoir inwhich the author as a little girl is stranded with her parents and a few others at a remote mining camp in the Philippine jungle for two years. She's running out of paper to practice writing, so she erases pages to provide herself more space.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two bundles of energy...

l'il pearl and hubs' powering the great westward migration a few months ago. good ol'days.

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...