31 March, 2009


as we've been eating salads in a big way around here i decided it was time to try a vinaigrette using the cranberry vinegar i made. mmmm
1/4 c olive oil
2tbsp red wine vinegar
1 generous tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
i have a delicious cranberry mustard that i used rather than dijon and my own cranberry vinegar. light. tasty.mmm. and because this is a midwestern blog you can't sign off without mentioning the weather. it snowed last night. the wind is/has been howling. there should be an improvement this afternoon - winds down to 25mph - and i think we're on for the meeting that was postponed last week due to a snowstorm. so i plan to be in north platte sometime later today.

24 March, 2009

change in plans

the wind is howling and snow flying today. i was supposed to go to north platte this afternoon for a meeting but after a flurry of early morning phone calls we all decided that there was nothing important enough on the agenda to drag us out in this weather. you know what that means - snow day!! i was already planning to get nothing done at home today so at this point if i accomplish anything i'm ahead of the game!!
i did enjoy a very timely conversation with naphtali. and then i figured i should at least make supper, and chili sounded so good as the tree branches were scraping against the house. so i hit the kitchen. tim and i found this cast iron dutch oven at an auction 30(?)(!) years ago and it has been our go-to pot ever since. food that simmers in here just tastes sooooo good.

we like to have something sweet in the house for..... those times that you need to have something sweet in the house. this has become a stand-by for us:
honey glazed almonds. starting with a cold oven set to 350 roast 2 cups raw almonds for 12-20 minutes.

melt together 2 tbsp butter and 1/4 cup honey

stir in the almonds and coat evenly.

pour onto a lightly greased sheet and cool. sprinkle with turbinado and store in an airtight container.

and while the oven is on let's add cornbread to the menu!

hope you're enjoying a seasonal day wherever you are.

23 March, 2009

another spring rite

who among us doesn't switch purses as the seasons change?? i have a purse and the bag (and i'm very picky about both) i carry to work which has to be large enough for papers, books, magazines, my lunch,whatever. so several weeks ago i switched my work bag for this nifty creation from second street designs.

it's roomy, springy and fun to carry. i actually decided to use it as my purse over the weekend which means i'm on the hunt for a different work bag (naphtali are you paying attention??)

with biking weather around the corner (some corner, some where) i'm going to need something with a longer strap - a messenger bag. hopefully i can get by until our visit to the cities the first weekend in april.

21 March, 2009

it's been said

in spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love. around here the thoughts of the 'young man' involve basketball and budgets. my own?? projects. definitely projects.

a new latch for the gate.

a package to send to jacob and kate.
tim's sweaters to wash and seasonal clothes to swap out.
blankets to air.

of course i suffer from the it-has-to-be-orderly-before-i-can-work syndrome so i did spend some time tidying the garage...found 1/2 a bottle of windshield washer fluid so i topped off both vehicles so i could throw the bottle away!! isn't that just the cutest little engine!?
rain and snow are forecast for sunday through tuesday so i hope to get a lot of loose ends tied up inside in the next few days so i can actually start some cleanup in the flower beds one of these days.
tim will be in omaha starting the 29th to set his budget. i'll be posting pictures of the project that will keep me busy while he's gone. here's a hint: any chance that you remember (go ahead - check the archives if you need to) what i did last year at this time??
jacob is scheduled for surgery april 2, prompting the box of goodies.
we head north for aidan's birthday on the 3rd. busy days ahead.

20 March, 2009

spring has arrived

although you'd never know it looking out the window. it's a gloomy day inside and out. but here are a few more 'firsts' to mark the occasion:
my first paint job of the season. i look forward to spray-paint season all winter long.

first tulips poking through the debris of winter.

the first sign of daffodils.
hope you're all enjoying sunny skies.

19 March, 2009

no introduction needed.....

my first grandson.

aidan can cover several
'firsts' by himself. the first grandchild - on either side- first grandson, first in our family to attend a chinese immersion school, and

the first serious competition tiger will face.

i had plans for a photo shoot with my tulips this morning for tomorrow's first day of spring entry - but it's raining! i have tulip shoots up about 4 inches and daffodils just starting to break ground while others in town have gleefully reported daffodils in full bloom. we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.

18 March, 2009

my first

red lipstick

17 March, 2009

first ride

we hit the mid 70s yesterday so it was my first ride to work for the season.i always look forward to the time when i can start riding my bike for errands and work. the switch to daylight savings time earlier than normal means that it is still light even now when i get off work (in years past a deterent to riding)so i can get home safely. yippee!!
and while i hate to waste a second first in the same post i will mention that it was also the first time i've locked my bike in the 5 years we've been here.

16 March, 2009

a week of firsts

to help usher in the first day of spring i think it appropriate to share some other 'firsts'

here is today's:

my first ever batch of cream puffs.

what have we done!!??!

we have given charlie a 'summer buzz' each of the last 2 years. it is a long,hot,itchy job but he really does much better without the heavy coat in the nebraska heat. this year one of us decided it should happen earlier than usual and one of us decided it was worth paying whatever the groomer asked. we both got our way. and none of us are happy.
handsome charlie. (our cut from last summer)

poor charlie. he is shaved. uneven. raw in a couple spots.
and pale!!
i guess it will remain our job.

15 March, 2009


one last entry to finish this train of thought....

i am (as naphtali once pointed out to me)somewhat of a snob when it comes to my reading material. i avoid book club selections. i do in fact judge books by their covers. i couldn't tell you what is one the best-seller list from anyone's paper. every now and then, in an un-looked-for place, i'll stumble across an article dealing with favorite books of ...someone and i'll file away any interesting titles. certain patrons will come in to the library and ask if we can get a particular book from another library for them. you run it through the system, find that there are 27 libraries in the country that own it and i can hardly resist taking a look when it comes in! (i have one home now!) so gatsby was on my list. the concrete blonde, mr bridge, mrs bridge, and of course (on my son-in-law's recommendation) atlas shrugged along with a handful of others that i'd like to work my way through in the next couple months. just in time for the summer reading lists to be posted.

08 March, 2009

this book

this book inspired a new project and secured a rescue from the goodwill.

i've always enjoyed topiaries and this book provided the nudge i needed to try one.

these pictures reinforced an idea that took hold the other day - i need a reliable backdrop for staging some of my pictures.

i have 2 different ivies started and they're both doing fine.

07 March, 2009

books for a lazy saturday morning

temporary. permanent.

books that were given to me. books that have been snagged from the library. checked out from our local library. shared from another library. picked up second hand.

books for me, for children, for guests, for reference, for the sheer pleasure of owning them.

books that have been judged by their covers.
books that have been recommended. books that will never be read. books that will become lifelong friends.

and i will continue to bring them home. some i will pass along to others who will give them new homes and uses. some, i'm sorry to say, will end up at the goodwill to take their chances waiting for the right owner to claim them.

03 March, 2009

small town living

sorry no pictures. just a quick anecdote.

tim normally picks up a video on friday nights. i walked into the local video store today and asked for australia. wendy, the proprietor, laughingly asked how had i talked tim into that?! when i told her he was out of town and this was my window of opportunity she laughed and said watch it twice.

01 March, 2009

green thumb

tim has become the plant guy at work. he has repotted and protected a variety of left-over funeral plants from root bind and well meaning staff. he waters, trims, tends. yesterday he brought home this small basket containg 7 separate plants.

after a quick hunt for empty pots they were split, potted and ready to go. tim will be in omaha for most of the week so i've promised not to kill them while he's gone.

i finished the reader last night and have to say that it ranks right up there with kite runner for disappointing protagonist.