Friday, April 30, 2010

No Leaves...

No leaves. But just wait! 
In the making and will be
So beautiful! SOON!


expecting spring! 


Sky Watch Friday
Do join us! 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who Said Baseball??


expect anything!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tree Peony After the Rain

I like this photograph. I take my photos with a very good but very simple camera. Said camera takes  some wonderful photos...lucky lucky shots at times...really quite good every once and a while, if I don't say so myself! Today is one of those quite good photo days (according to me). Hope you enjoy it!

expect anything!

Tree Peony, 4/20/10, Columbia, MO

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cracked Pots

A friend of my mom's sent this to her. I like it:

An elderly woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house." The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!


expect anything!

Photo: Tree peony, Columbia, MO, 4/22/10; 3:47pm

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Serenity - Contemplation

Two True Gardeners: 
Dad in the foreground after turning the soil, 
Mom in the background harvesting salad greens

And me? I'm simply loving these most wonderful folks
and this most wonderful place on earth...



Friday, April 23, 2010

Still Waters Run Deep

Farm Pond - Callaway County, MO
4/20/10, 7:15pm


expect anything!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Missourah Morel Madness...I Have It...

One more thing to cross off my Bucket List!
I have found my first morel mushroom ever! It was simply thrilling!
Can't you see how hard they are to spot?

Earlier this week, mom, dad and I spent a delightful afternoon and evening with my cousins and spouses at Cathy and Tom's MO farm that's located east of Columbia and along the Cedar Creek. Tom had brought us a mess of morels earlier in the week that he'd picked at the farm. Because of that, my other cousin Curt and I were both determined to go morel hunting as well, though neither of us had a clue how to do so. We were hoping Tom would give us some pointers. He did: "Just look for a brown wrinkled thing sticking up out of the brown leaves." So off the three of us went on our morel adventure. It hadn't rained since last week and Tom said this could have a big effect on the number of morels there were to be found. This proved to be true. Tom almost immediately found two (which he sent home with me) while Curt and I continued to look in vain. Just when I was about to quit, I looked down and saw Mr. Morel, above, plain as day! And that was the end of that. Not one more did any of us see. Curt was not at all happy he didn't find one as well and has vowed to return to the farm after the next rain.

My morel in all its glory!
The greenery you see clinging to the bottom are fiddle head fern babies.

Because of the lack of rain, the morels were beginning to dry out. Mom told me to trim the bases and put them in a ziploc bag full of water. We refrigerated them overnight and the next morning they were perfectly plump once again.
And tonight's meal? A sauce made with just-picked asparagus from my parent's garden), just picked morel mushrooms and cream over pasta. Don't you wish you could join us? 

 Below are photos of that huge first mess of morels Tom brought us. Recipe is included as well:

Morels split in two, washed dried well and ready to be sauteed.

Our first batch was simply sauteed as is over medium high heat in half unsalted butter and half canola oil - about 3 tablespoons each. We turned the morels once and cooked them about a minute or so on each side. While you usually will drain most things on paper towels after they're done, don't do that with morels! You want that buttery flavor to come through with each bite. Keep them warm until ready to serve (which should be as soon as possible).

Our second batch we did the more traditional way. This time the morels were tossed in flour and then the excess well shaken off.

Again they were sauteed in the butter-oil mixture and turned once.

Just sit yourself right down, take a bite and be transported to flavor heaven!

In the above photo, the plain morels are on top - and it looks like someone's been snitching more than a few - and the flour coated morels are on the bottom. While both are delicious, I really do prefer the plain morels. Why coat even a tiny bit of the flavor with anything? I wish I had more time to stay for the next rain so we could go morel hunting again. After tonight's pasta it will be another year before I'm able to once again enjoy morels in all their glory. This eating seasonal thing is really irritating at times!


expect wonderful flavors!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Old Man, A Sycamore Tree

Photo: Summer of '07
Above is a clearer look at the photo in my header.

Look how much more "tree" there is here than in the photo below.
I wonder how old this tree is.

The Old Man - Still Standing!

I ventured down to the valley to see if this magnificent sycamore was still standing. I was worried on three fronts. 1, as you can see, he's hanging on precariously by, it looks like, just about 1/4 of his roots; 2, there was a major rain storm and the valley flooded this spring. If you look at how the waters eroded the earth just below this old tree, you'd find it impossible to believe Old Man survived the onslaught; and sadly, 3, there is a major highway being built about 50 feet from where he stands. Though his surroundings have basically been destroyed, he is still standing. (The photo in my header is of the same tree that was taken the summer of '07.)



expect anything!


Photo: Taken 4/20/10 of the old sycamore tree (The Old Man) that is along the banks of the South Fork of the Grindstone Creek in the valley below my parents home in Missouri. The photo in my header is of the same tree but taken in the summer of '07.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lilacs in Missourahhh

I've been lazy busy of late and haven't taken the time to do much on the www. I'm in my Missourahhh right now visiting my parents for spring break. As much as I adore Connecticut this time of year, there is nothing prettier than Missouri in the spring. As I've written before, my mom and dad are gardeners extraordinaire and their entire place is one big flower garden/vegetable garden that is one ongoing burst of different colors and vegetables as the spring/summer/falls seasons roll along. At the moment, it's lilac time!

There are at least 12 different varieties of lilacs - along with one rogue snowball hydrangea bush - in the hedge alongside their driveway. Everything from deep purple to white from small to large blossomed, then there's white rimmed, double flowered, and on and on.

Just when I think I've picked my favorite, another one catches my eye and that one is my favorite! (If you'd like to see more of all the lilacs, please visit my flickr here!)

Missouri Lilacs, 4/19/10, click on photo to see more!

(Above is the hedge that greets you as you come up their driveway to their home.)



expect anything!

Friday, April 16, 2010

SWF - A Seasonal Tree

Remember how gorgeous this tree was last fall (click here)? It has a way to go, don't you think, till it's that beautiful in the fall, once again! But, no matter, there is beauty to be found in each and every season!


expect anything!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peace Like a River

“What makes a river so restful to people
is that it doesn't have any doubt -
it is sure to get where it is going,
and it doesn't want to go anywhere else.”

~ Hal Boyle

Both photos, Saugatuck River, Westport, CT 4/7/10


expect anything!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Flings

Do you ever have periods in your life that you feel
Scattered to the wind? I do.
Not that anything is particularly wrong...
Just nothing is particularly right.

Scattered to the wind. That's what I am.


expecting NO sympathy, just a forum to vent a bit!
there! i'm done and feel much better now!
thank you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Serenity...Almost on Monday...

My favorite spring flower...
(Well, umm, not really...)


expect anything!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Glorious Spring!

The blooms that abound
thrill me to my very soul
a renewal..hope
Every season that comes around I think is my very favorite,
but just till the next season arrives
Can you imagine a world
that is always the same with no change?
Me neither.


expect changing seasonal beauty!

Sky Watch Friday
Do join us!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Me & My Shadow

I decided to take an exerciserly walk around our block last weekend. I know, I know, unusual for me, and not something that's -yet- become a habit. (O Please! You all can stop your cackling now!)
Got half-way up our cul-de-sac and felt a ~presence~ behind me that, according to my well-tuned sixth sense, was staring me down. It was Stella. Who had raced right through her invisible electric fence. Without so much as a single yelp. Darn. Battery's dead.
Back home we went, with much coercing to get her back on the "right" side of said fence, though nothing was felt leaving. I decided, what the heck, if I'm going to take an exerciserly walk, then Stella would go with me. On a leash. Stella does not like leashes. My normally well-behaved dog is really not when on a leash. Plus, I think it depresses her. Just look at how she's hanging her head!

Not to worry! Stella and I had just turned the corner on the next street down from us when up drove cousin Jules! She rolled down the window and told us to get in as it was the day before Easter and we had no business walking when there was food shopping to do! (She also told me she'd called my house and cussed me out for still sleeping - but obviously I wasn't - hmph!) Must say Stella was absolutely thrilled to get into the car and go back home. Me, not so much. I was so enjoying my exerciserly walk! I wanted it to continue forever. Yup, and there's ice cubes growing on trees in Death Valley.

Stella has not followed me out of the yard since. That could be because I haven't gone on an exerciserly walk since. Just sayin'. That's because I changed the battery in her collar.

The End.



expect anything!

P. S. I see that we need new paving on our road! What a mess!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Randomness in My World

Hey there and Happy Tuesday!

Above is a photo that has absolutely nuthin' to do with nuthin', but I liked it so thought I'd share it. It's amazing to me how many folks do not like Brussels sprouts. People! If you'd just give them a chance, you'd discover lovely crunchy goodness. This tray was part of our Easter repast. When they were roasted, they were stirred into a platter of baby veggies - carrots, cauliflower, shallots, etc. Pretty darn delicious, though Jules and I had a lot of trouble this year getting everything to the Easter table cooked properly and at the same time. A rather discombobulated cooking day - and that doesn't happen very often to the two of us!

On another note, I followed Miss LaLa from her old abode here in ~Cocktail Corner~ to her new home in Wilton yesterday. It's quite bittersweet not to have her right around the corner from me anymore. Do you know how far Wilton is from Cocktail Corner?? A looooooong way away - about 20 minutes too long - especially considering she was all of 20 seconds away before! This is really going to put a crimp on our back-and-forth visits, I tell you!
As Lauren said, their new condo is like a doll house. Most of their things are in and you can feel how cozy it's going to be. The only sideways note is Dora-Dog. She cannot figure out what has happened to her world! She's already escaped once (Augie, remember to close that front door!) as she's not yet figured out she can't just run outside any time she wants anymore, and spent the time I was there either whimpering sad sounding Dora-speak or following us from room to room. She also spent a great deal of time jumping up on the furniture and beds - probably to give everything a fresh scent of Dora (not to be confused with Dior).

Ah beginnings. It's all good!

What's happening in your World?


expect anything!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sunday Serenity

Hope your day was wonderful.
Ours certainly was.


good thoughts!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Pink & Blue

OK OK, I'm
Quite Late for my S. W. F.
But...springtime is here!

And that means there are all kinds of wonderful blooms and flowers and buds and greenery and creatures, be they insects, birds or animals - EVERYTHING that I need to see and experience and explore!


loving spring!

Sky Watch Friday
Do Join Us!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Two Love Stories...One Nissan & Then a Personal One

Several weeks ago are you kidding me, months ago - it's been at least since last December, a person in my life who will forever remain nameless, backed out of our garage and completely demolished the driver side ~non-collapsible~ (pooh!) mirror on my nearly brand-new Nissan Altima. Said person tried to order a new mirror, but ultimately failed. I sat by, bided my time...and finally decided enough was enough already!
I went to my very best www friend in the whole wide world - that would be google - and bought myself a mirror for exactly $52.34.
Now my only obstacle was having it installed. Thought I could do it myself until I talked to a colleague who told me he'd googled directions, tried to follow them and ultimately ruined his car door trying to install his mirror. That scared me. A LOT!
Again, I turned to my best www friend and was directed to the Nissan Club Forum. There was a post claiming Nissan had made the installment of mirrors a breeze that anyone could do! Hard to believe.

I posed my question:
Hi all - I read here that all you have to do is "pop off" the little panel on the inside of the driver door and the innards of the driver rear-view mirror is easily handy to replace the mirror. Is this true? And if so, in what way do I "pop off" the black piece without breaking it? IF this is true, CONGRATS to Nissan for making an easy fix!

I got my answer:
"Welcome to the club. Yup, it's really that simple. The black panel is held by one push-in-the-hole clip and 2 tabs on the bottom. If you pull the top of the triangle out, it'll pull the clip out and then the bottom will feed out as you yank. It's always scary the first time because you don't want to break anything... "

(And they were oh so very correct - look at that beauteous new mirror on the right!)

The before story...

Stella is so disgusted with the damage done to the mirror -
she can't even look at it!

Stella has now turned away in total disgust.

The story continued yesterday:

Look! I've followed instructions and was able to easily remove the panel without a screwdriver or pliers in sight! Whoa...this is easy. YOU GO NISSAN so far.

Here's the panel they said would easily come off and then go back on without much chance of breaking. Dang! They were not lying! I think I'm beginning to love my car!

The tools required for the fix.
Don't ask me what I did with any one of them. can any human being live without a socket wrench set?
And how can socket sets be so cheap?

Voila! The mirror!
Completely installed by moi!
Nissan, you have made something consumer impossible, possible!
That is just wonderful!
They're making simple repairs just that...simple!
*OK, just because I'm able to install a mirror on my Nissan,
everyone should buy a Nissan??

Uh oh...ummmm...let's see.....something's missing...
Possibly that might be the red cover that was
"safely stored away" in a place that wouldn't be forgotten by moi?
O dear...Where in God's name did I put it??

That just isn't a good look!


expect anything!

A BIG April Fool's Day P.S. to my beloved hubby: Happy Anniversary! 32! How the hell did we do that??? It seems like just yesterday we were prancing down the aisle! Guess what, GB? I'd do it all again in a heartbeat! xoxoyourabb