Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Road Less Traveled

Now that the flood waters are finally starting to recede here in Nebraska/Iowa, this is a photo of what is left behind of our interstate system.  They say it'll take quite some time to fix since they can't use the soil around the flood area to pack and rebuild the foundation for new pavement, and access roads to/from are in the same or worse shape, so getting equipment to/from will be precarious at best.

There's also a video here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's National Toasted Marshmallow Day!

It’s National Toasted Marshmallow Day! With summer almost over, tonight is the perfect time to host a campfire for some old fashioned marshmallow toasting.

The history of marshmallows dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Pharaohs used to eat the sweet extract that comes from squeezing mallow plants.  It wasn't until the 19th century that marshmallows evolved to become the delicious treats we know and love today.  Gooey and sugary, marshmallows are great ways to end the summer.  So grab a stick and a bag of marshmallows and head outside to toast some marshmallows.  And whether you like them lightly toasted or charred beyond recognition, gather family and friends and indulge in some smores. After all, summer won't be here much longer!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pleasantly Surprised !

I was "home alone" this past weekend, as hubby was in Utah visiting his dad.  So I filled up my time with family and friends ... and housework.  I seem to get more done at home when I'm on my own than when hubby is home distracting me (grin).  So the floors were swept and scrubbed, the windows and glass doors were washed, 6 loads of laundry were washed and dried and put away, AND I even had time to go to a movie with a sweet friend.

I'm not a huge Steve Carell fan ... but let's just say, every time I see him in a movie I gain more respect for his acting.  This is one of the BEST movies I've seen in quite a while. SERIOUSLY!! So well written, GREAT acting, and to be "surprised" several times within the movie - what a treat!  So if you see NOTHING else this summer, PLEASE go and see this movie ... you won't be disappointed.  VERY entertaining!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

NASA Photo of Hurricane Irene

I had NO idea ... this certainly puts everything into perspective.  WOW!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Interest in Pinterest is Growing!

If you haven't created your own boards yet at Pinterest, you really should take a few moments to go and check it out.  There are some AMAZING projects, recipes, photography, etc. etc. that will just leave you in smiles. And the great thing is that your "saves" won't take up any memory space on your personal computer!  Here's a few examples of my recent "pins":

This "couple" just had me smiling!

How about a recipe for Apple Cider FLOATS!! 

Butterfly Cupcakes!!

And how beautiful is this??!!

Making RAIN - great at home science experiment for kids!

And a "why didn't I think of that" project !

Go here to view all of my pinterest pins and have fun creating your own collections!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Day At The Zoo!

We had a company event at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo over the weekend.  And the weather was actually quite nice for the middle of August in Nebraska!  During the dinner event they brought in all kinds of small "pet-able" animals for the kids to interact with ... here's a pic of Jonas getting his first experience with an armadillo and a lovely snake!

 My sister and her family also joined us and they took some amazing shots of just a few of the fabulous animals they have at this award winning zoo.

This guy sorta reminds me of my uncle Wilbur!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Robert Redford!

In all of the excitement of wishing my dad a happy birthday yesterday, I forgot to mention as well that this famous actor shares the same birthday.  Robert Redford ... he is the Cary Grant of my generation ... fabulous actor, great moral fiber, promoter of young talent, and so very easy on the eyes!! (huge sigh)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Just look at this fabulous 1950's family photo ... yep, that yours truly being held in my beautiful mother's arms. And that's my brother Johnny (who we tragically lost at such a young age) in my father's arms.

If I had to choose but one of the many strengths that my father possesses, it would be his hard work ethic. He believed in a full day's work and even evenings and weekends when emergencies arose. He was a master plumber and thought nothing of carrying large water heaters up and down stairs. He could clean a drain faster than those chemical cleaners ever could. And there wasn't a water leak that he couldn't plug! And he could sell ice cubes to eskimos! In addition to his plumbing company, he also sold Electroway Sink Centers back in the mid 60's.  This was my mother's FAVORITE gadget (and let me tell you my dad LOVED gadgets!)  It was quite the innovation at the time and my dad had several salesmen and even a cold call room where they set up appointments to go to people's homes to show and sell this remarkable and amazing kitchen helper. (click on photo for larger image).

My dad's favorite place to vacation was anywhere that were was an ocean, but he preferred California and the Pacific Ocean.  He used to love to deep sea fish and he and my mom would travel to Oceanside, California every winter and spend several months at this wonderful oceanside resort.  Mom doesn't like water so she never went with him on his fishing excursions, but opted to stay at the motel where she would find a new sewing hobby every season to occupy her time. 

They also loved to shop and would come back with these fabulous new dishes/glasses that caught their attention. My favorite item from all of these shopping ventures was a set of large shell-shaped salad bowls.

Anyway, I digress ... I just wanted to give a big 'ol happy birthday shoutout to my dad as he celebrates his 82nd birthday today.  LOVE YOU DAD!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day!

“Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by Cherokee USA, Le Creuset, Wilton, Bags by Bloom and Harvard Common Press”

Join the fun at TidyMom for Love the Pie - Share your pie recipes (and WIN) here:

Oh, what fond memories are tied together with this sweet and tart pie tin of lusciousness!  This has always been my favorite pie!  But ONLY if it's homemade, and preferably made by my mother!  I have always asked for this dessert on my birthday, and some years I scored and some years I didn't, but I always asked because there is absolutely NOTHING on this planet better than a "from scratch" lemon meringue pie!  First you have that delicate crust (made with lard - it's the ONLY way to get that old fashioned blue ribbon prize winning taste).  Then the sweet/tart filling - slow cooked custard with REAL lemon juice and zest.   I could actually just eat this without the crust and meringue and die happy, but some things are meant to be a complete package.  Now last but definitely not least, is the meringue. There is a real trick to making perfect meringue, and some years my mom had success and some years not so much, but it is a thing of beauty and when done right a mouth full of amazing airy wonderfulness.  Now put them all together and you have a dessert that will cause your eyes to cross and lips to grin!

Here's mom's recipe / click to enlarge recipe:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fabric Flower Tutorial Link

Just look at this GORGEOUS flower creation.  You've seen Prima flowers and Webster's Pages flowers like this and now you can make your own - in minutes! 

Here's a link to the tutorial:

Would LOVE to see what you create!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's National S'mores Day!

This holiday ranks right up there with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Although I embrace ANY holiday that involves chocolate!  I mean, who doesn't LOVE s'mores??!!  S'mores are a favorite campsite treat for kids of ALL ages. If you're at a campfire, chances are, there's s'mores. Sticky and gooey, loaded with sugar and carbs, s'mores are nothing short of delicious.

National S'mores Day celebrates this tasty summer treat. It's appropriately placed in campfire time.  The origin of s'mores dates back to the 1920's.  It's believed the recipe was created by the Campfire Girls, but there are also claims made that the Girl Scouts were the first to discover this treat. (NOTE:  I became a Campfire Girl after learning that Girl Scouts did not, in fact, get to eat boxes of GS cookies at their meetings.)  The first known recipe for "Some More," appeared in the 1927 book "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts." That recipe that was little changed by 1940, when William Gould Vinal included it in his "Nature Recreation: Group Guidance for the Out-of-Doors."  Before long, s'mores became a popular campfire desssert.  S'more folklore suggests that s'mores got its name right by the campfire. After eating one, everyone chanted "gimme some more!" 

And while they say you should make these treats around a roaring camp fire, I've been known to turn on the gas stove and toast up a marshmallow for instant s'more gratification.  Anyone else ever done that?

RECIPE:  Two graham crackers for outsides. Square of hershey's chocolate to fit. Add toasted marshmallow and squish together. Repeat until bag of marshmallows is empty.

How My Cats See Me !!!

I saw this on Lolcats this morning and just HAD to share.  My three furballs definitely see me in this light!

funny pictures - Kitteh Komic ob teh Day: How Cats See Humans

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Trisha!

Wishing my niece, Trisha, a very happy birthday today!

My niece, Trisha, is a new mom to one year old Avlyn.  She is also our family historian and loves to document our ancestry.  She recently uncovered a great great granddaughter of one of my dad's aunts. She also discovered that we have some Irish in our lineage, which would account for my love of Bailey's Irish Cream.   

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day!

I seriously burst out laughing when I saw what today's national food holiday was!!  But hey, what else are you going to do with an endless supply of zucchini?  Any experienced gardener knows that zucchini is one of the most prolific plants in all of the gardening world. A single plant produces a seemingly endless supply of zucchini. A small row of zucchini has the potential to end world hunger.  By the time August arrives, gardeners are harvesting far more zucchini than they can possibly use daily in any untold number of recipes, from soups and stews, to breads and dips. Still, the fruit matures on the vine faster than anyone can pick it. Zucchini growers become desperate, as they try to give zucchini away to family, friends, coworkers, people at bus stops.  By August, even non-gardeners have had enough.  Everyone avoids you, with your arms laden with this healthy produce.  So ... desperate times calls for desperate measure. It's time to sneak over, under the cover of darkness, to your neighbors porch, and unload some zucchini. Today is that day! 

Here's a new recipe for you to try with YOUR bumper crop of zucchini:

Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread

Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread

The recipe can be found HERE:


Friday, August 5, 2011

It Just Doesn't Get Any Better!!

While visiting my son and daughter-in-law in Colorado last week, my son drove me up to Breckenridge for the day and while standing in line at a vendor getting us a handmade crepe in downtown Breckenridge (and can I just say they were A.MAZ.ING!), he snapped this photograph of the sky above us. How magnificent it turned out.  And yes, the sky really is THAT blue!!!  Click on the photo to get an even better visual experience!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Children Would Agree!

You can get this paper weight here:

Double Rainbow

Just after dinner and before leaving for the airport in Denver on Monday night, we walked out of the restaurant after a heavy rain and were greeted with this amazing double rainbow!  Just another day in paradise!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Amazing Taste and Oh So Healthy!

I'm back from a GLORIOUS trip to Denver to see my son and daughter-in-law.  My son is the MOST amazing cook (he got that from his mother - grin).  While there, he made this AMAZING curry popcorn cauliflower recipe ... this is SERIOUSLY delicious and can you say HEALTHY?  I could eat this EVERY DAY!  He also made some delicious fruit smoothies, bison burgers and some really delicious fish tacos using bib lettuce instead of taco shells. 

Cauliflower:  $2.98
Curry Powder:  $4.95
Olive Oil:   $7.95
My son cooking me dinner:  PRICELESS!!!!

Here's the link for this recipe.  You MUST give it a try and let me know what you think!!