Monday, April 29, 2013

Whistling Nonchalantly

Heron's always look to me like some huge prehistoric flying creature. They're big, they fly rather slowly and they make it look like a lot of work. When I see one out of the corner of my eye I always suspect I've been thrown back in time which causes me to duck and hide in the bushes before it's razor sharp beak-teeth rip me to shreds, or before I'm run down by a rampaging Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Then I realize it's just a heron and I stand back up, brush off my knees, whistle nonchalantly and continue on down the road.

Rising up, wings flap
Huge prehistoric creature
A heron in flight


Friday, April 26, 2013

The Dangers of Mozzarella Bricks

We use a lot of mozzarella cheese in our house. We use it in homemade pizza, ziti-bake, lasagna - you know, all sorts of high-fat, delicious meals.

So, always looking for ways to save a few bucks, one day several years ago I decided to get mozzarella cheese in brick form. I figured I could shred it myself and save a few bucks over the pre-shredded stuff. I get ideas like this once in a while and sometimes they turn out to be a great idea, other times not so much. I'll let you decide which this was.

So, I unwrapped my brick of cheese. I sniffed it over soundly. I licked the edges (no, wait, I did not do that). Then I pulled out the food processor. It has a shredding blade and people on the internet said I could do this. (If it's on the internet, it must be true, right?)

First, let me say that I rarely use my food processor. It seems like a good idea, but I almost never have food that requires 'processing'. I cut carrots and potatoes by hand. And most of my other food I can chew myself. (I know, I'm sure I could use if for all sorts of wonderful things that would make my life so so so much easier. But really, digging it out of the cupboard is more work than I usually want to get involved in.)

So, I rarely use it.

But it seemed like the perfect tool for shredding mozzarella.

So, I began.

Before too long, the food processor began to make a lot of scary noises. It vibrated and shook like a china shop in a 7.5 earthquake and then cracked into pieces. There were two things it did not do.

1) It stopped just short of flinging its blade across the room like a batarang and
2) It did not shred my cheese.

Needless to say, I gave up. I shredded the stuff by hand, returned the (obviously defective) broken processor to the store and moved on with my life.

And, having a short memory, a year or so after that I decided to try again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The outcome wasn't quite as spectacular, but was basically the same. A broken food processor and some chunks of cheese with blade-nibbles on the edges.

I gave up and shredded the stuff by hand.

It's been a few years and it's getting to be time to try it again.

But I must say, the 30 cents I saved on the cheese has so far not been quite the investment I had hoped:

Food processor #1:-$35.00
Cheese savings: $0.30
Food processor #2:-$35.00
Cheese savings: $0.30
Pain and suffering due to stress, frustration, near-death experience:-$2,336,792.00
Overall net:-$2,336,861.40

If you do a search on the internet you will see that many many people do this. I suspect they either have industrial strength food processors, or they are lying out their, um, noses.

And while I do have a nice, new food processor sitting in a far dark corner of the cupboard, I no longer have an urge to shred mozzarella cheese with it. Or anything else.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gumby Loves Breakfast Pizza!

Now that's breakfast! Yummy breakfast pizza! Even Gumby and the cat want some!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Love Doves

These two little cuties spend a lot of time on our deck. Most of their time is spent in the bird seed tray - sometimes eating, sometimes sitting, sometimes sleeping. But they are always together. So cute!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Deck Squirrel

For lack of anything better to post about today, I leave you with a lovely photo of one our deck squirrels. I don't know if this is Buffy or Randy, but whoever he is, he's hungry:


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Chipmunk Thump

As I've mentioned in the past, we have a gerbil. Sweet little Sandy is a cheerful, funny little fellow. His most endearing quality is his reluctance to bite us, even when he really wants to. We all appreciate that about him. We've never gotten anything worse than a gentle nibble.

But one of his other, almost as endearing qualities is the way he thumps his feet. When he's scared, excited or sometimes just bored, he'll start to thump his fuzzy little back feet. Thu-thump, thu-thump, thu-thump. It's very cute.

As I've probably also mentioned in the past we have a bird feeder out back that attracts a wide variety of birds, many appropriately-named squirrels (Rusty, Buffy, Randy (short for Random squirrel), Long John Squirrelver (with his one eye - I really need to crochet that squirrel an eye patch!) and Skrawny), and best of all, chipmunks. Chipmunks are so cute! And they keep the cat entertained too. The cat has come to know that when Mommy starts talking in a high-pitched voice out the back door that some cute tasty little critter is present. The cat will race over to the door and stare out, tail twitching.

The other day as a cute little chipmunk sat in a pile of bird seed, stuffing his cheeks, he saw me step up to the door. He perked up, ready to run and I saw his little back foot lift and thump down several times. It was so cute. I had no idea chipmunks did that! When he saw that I wasn't coming out he relaxed and stuffed a few more pounds of seeds into his cheeks. But whenever I moved, he would give a thump or two, a warning that danger was nearby and he got ready to run.

Eventually, when his cheeks were so full that he could barely keep from toppling over onto his face, he scampered off.


Monday, April 15, 2013

A Chipmunk's Tale

We get visits from the local chipmunks on occasion, probably because we give them peanuts. Surprisingly enough we haven't named them yet, but here's one of the little critters enjoying a snack:

What do we have here?

Sniff sniff - smells OK.

Let's give it a taste.

Wow! That's good stuff! I'm gonna take this home with me.

My cheeks are full, but I think I could fit in another.

Got it! (you can see the shape of the peanut in his cheeks :) )

OK, I'm outta here!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Green, Mossy Buttocks

The other day on our trip to a park we saw something that you don't see every day. I wrote a little haiku to go with it:

What do we have here?
Underground, sleeping ogre.
Green, mossy buttocks.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dried Up Leaves, Porcupines and Very Tall Trees

So, the other day we visited a nature park in the area. It was pretty cold out still, and there were no animals to be seen, and not even any plants or buds to be seen yet, but it was slightly warmer than it has been and we wanted some fresh air.

And despite the appalling lack of spring-like stuff, we managed to find some nice things to look at:

Some dried up leaves against the blue sky:

A tree masquerading as a porcupine:

A tree in the distance lit by a ray of sun:

Interlaced tree roots:

Some very snake-like roots:

And lots of very tall trees:

A cold, but fun day.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

You Can Tell It's Spring When the Dolphins Return

  The other morning I had the front door open and heard one of the sure signs that spring is coming. I heard the happy ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah of the returning dolphins. And then, as soon as I heard that I was very confused. Probably as confused as you are reading this. (What the heck is that woman talking about?!?) Dolphins? What about robins?

Then I realized it wasn't dolphins. It was just some seagulls on the neighbor's roof. For whatever reason they were speaking dolphin.

Now I'm just waiting for the robins to show their little feathered faces.