Friday, April 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 114)


Yes, it is that time again. Time for my drivel and blather on a Friday morning. Time for 7 Quick Takes. Just remember to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the rain falling here, over to Conversion Diary to see what everyone else has been doing.

And now on to the blather.

Just so that you know, by the time that you read this I will have been up for hours watching William and Kate get married.

I got up at an unnatural hour to watch Princess Di and Prince Charles get married and I can do no less for Wills and Kate. Although my surroundings will be different. I will not be hunched in front of a little TV eating sugar free jello. I distinctly remember sitting there in nursing school, gazing out at the skyline of Dallas, eating jello and watching the spectacle and sighing at how dishy Prince Charles was.

I no longer do that. He is a whack job and England would be better served by just jumping right over Charles and Camilla (Queen Camilla? Really?) and having William and Catherine be King and Queen.

Getting off soapbox now which I really have no right to be on since I am not a subject of the British Crown.

For some inexplicable reason HHBL has refused to get up with me and celebrate the Royal Nuptials.

I believe his answer was, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Edit: I watched ALL of the coverage on BBC America starting at 4a, and taped NBC. That way I can run through any commercials because BBC kindly did all coverage without any commercial interruption. Thank you. And it really did the best job anyways.

So we all know that I am on Twitter.

Ah Twitter. It is like crack in 140 characters. And when you use TweetDeck, as I do, then you can run multiple lists and have all sorts of things going on and do Facebook all at the same time and…

But I digress.

One of the things that I find very interesting about Twitter is the people who pop up as followers. The people that I am talking about are those who watch out for certain words that are used in tweets and then follow those people.

Case in point. This was a tweet I shot out into the twitterverse last week:

CaptureNotice the phrase “back pain”? Later that day I had several chiropractors following me.


I am not going to block them or anything but I am sure not following them back. And I am sure that after a time they will unfollow me. Sniff. Not.

And I have absolutely no clue what word in what tweet caused me to have several people follow me this week who were trying to sell me things like sexual escort services and lovely “pictures” and various devices that will spice things up around here.

Those people I block.

I am very thankful that I have a husband who knows how to handle a chain saw and that we actually possess a chain saw. Especially in light of Wednesday’s little tree toppling incident. Within an hour of HHBL’s arrival home the driveway was clear and I heaved a great sigh of relief.

And immediately any thought that I had to get out and go somewhere vanished.

I am so odd.

Saw the first hummingbird of the season on Wednesday. He came, late in the day, to the back feeder. Didn’t see any yesterday but then it was really just too windy. But now that I know that they are back I am sure that I will be seeing more of them.

And we all know my strange obsession with hummingbirds.

Guess what it is doing right now. Right this very minute. I bet you can’t guess.

No really. I bet you can’t.

It is…….

wait for it……


Since the first of March we have had, according to some source that I can no longer find, 6 days of sunny skies and temps above 50F.

Six Days.

I feel as if I live within the Ray Bradbury short story The Long Rain

At this rate LookLeap and I will never plant or harvest anything except the weeds that are left over from the fellow that had the plot last year and let it go to seed.

OK, getting back to the royal wedding. I was totally fascinated with….

The Fascinators.

Who cares about the hats that women were wearing. It was the fascinators that just grabbed me. They are aptly named. Some were wonderful and quirky and clever…

And some were not. No they definitely were not.

Royal1This was one of my favorites. The whole ensemble was fabulous. I believe this is Tara Palmer-Tomkinson…..whoever that is. Classy.

Royal2 Oh dear. And then there are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. One with a dress that is just so not good. And the other with a fascinator that looks like she ran into some plaster molding on a wall and came away with it stuck to her head.

In the wise words of Dr. Phil…

What were you thinkin’!

I have become totally addicted…..

Bubble To Bubble Shooter.

And it is all Shoe Queen’s fault.

She was home for a visit last weekend and she showed me this game and now I can’t stop playing. The screen shot happens to be my first game of the day. But it won’t be my last.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Dog Day Afternoon


IMG_1628 Surveying his domain. Making sure Alpha Male is safe and that all is right with the dog world

IMG_1627AStick!!! Alpha has a stick!!!

IMG_1629A A stick, a stick, a stick! I love the stick. I want the stick.

IMG_1630A That stick is MINE! Why are you holding the stick! Why are you not throwing the stick!

IMG_1638AStiiiiiiiiiiick! I want the stiiiiiiiiick! Throw the stiiiiiiiiiiick!

IMG_1632A Give. Me. The. Stick!

IMG_1640A IMG_1641A IMG_1642A IMG_1643A Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh the stick!

IMG_1626AThe Mail Lady! Who cares about the dumb stick.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Houston We Have A Problem

I might have mentioned the less than optimal weather that we have been having here in the Frozen (and soggy) Northeast Ohio. According to a friend of mine we have had 5, count them, 5 days of sunny, above 50F weather since March 1. Deeeeeepressing.

And it seemed a good day to be inside after coming home from Bible Study.

This is what is coming our way and I figured that I had PLENTY to do inside to keep me occupied.

Weather WedOh lovely.

I am working hard in the basement weeding out unnecessary plastic objects in pursuit of my goal to not move anything that I don’t absolutely have to. I am not moving in the foreseeable future but I like to be prepared.

Working working working working

Ignoring the wind that is making the trees creak and moan. And making Max the Magnificent all skittish and in need of therapy.

Working working working


Ummmmmmmm, what was that sound? Hmmmm, probably nothing.

Working working working working.

Come upstairs to do some stuff in my office.

And this is what I see…….

IMG_1653 IMG_1654 IMG_1656 IMG_1657Well crap.

Sorry, I said crap. It just slipped out.

And it is the middle of the day so that means that the tree will stay right where it is, all snuggly with my lawn and driveway, until HHBL gets home and revs up the chain saw.

And said tree is now blocking HHBL’s ability to get into the garage.

And said tree is now blocking my ability to get anywhere at all.

And so, of course, I immediately think of about 100 things that I really need to do that require getting in my car to do them but I can’t get in my car and drive where I want because


I didn’t need to go anywhere else today. I hadn’t planned on going anywhere else today. But when faced with the reality that I CAN’T go anywhere then I want to go somewhere.

And maybe it will be more difficult than I think to cut and move the tree…

And maybe I will never be able to leave Chez Knit again.

And, and, and,


I need coffee.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just Call Me Mrs. Noah

Yes, it is still raining here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. I am trying to remind myself that April showers bring May flowers but all I can really see is standing water in the lawn. It has rained for most of the month of April. In fact we have set an all time record for April precipitation around here. I am trying to remind myself that, “At least it isn’t snow!”. Small comfort.

IMG_1623AAnd when I walk in the lawn, which I try not to do right now because of all the rain all I can hear is squish, squish as my flip flops sink into the saturated ground….
IMG_1622Please ignore my short, stubby toes. They cannot help it. But thank goodness I painted my toe nails for Easter. And yes those are toe rings. And yes I have a set on each foot. And no I don’t ever take them off, unless the X-Ray tech insists. I am going to be an old, wrinkled crazy grandma who is going to be buried with her gray hair and toe rings.

And then there are the multiple piercings in my ears. And if I was a bit younger I would pierce my nose as well!

I raise my fist in defiance and….

Ummmm, sorry I digressed there. Must be Soggy Rain Brain Syndrome.

So, as I was looking at my soggy lawn I also noticed…..

IMG_1620A Violets!!! I love violets. They are so happy and when I see them I think that Spring might actually arrive. Maybe. And then I start complaining because they don’t stay in the woods darn it! They spread to my flower beds and take over and then I have to throw them back in the woods. But they are happy looking.

And even though you can’t see it (because I haven’t taken a picture yet) all the male goldfinches are bright yellow again.
IMG_2089A This is what they look like at the moment. And there are about 8 of them just chowing down on the feeder. And I saw the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks there today as well. I love those birds and their song.

I really just wanted to write out Rose BREASTED Grosbeak.

Hmmmmm, yes, well.  Teenage boy moment there.

And now it has started to sprinkle again. Sigh.

Thank goodness it is almost wine o’clock and there is salmon for dinner.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to one and all.

7 Quick Takes will return next week full of things like Royal Weddings and crazy weather (it has been cloudy and rainy for close to a week here so far) and who knows what else.

This weekend have a wonderful time with family and friends. We will be celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus here at Chez Knit. Shoe Queen is home for the weekend and there might be Easter candy.

I think the words of one of my favorite “modern” hymns says best what I wish I had words to say.

See What a Morning
(Keith Getty and Stuart Townend)
See, what a morning, gloriously bright,
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce, "Christ is risen!"
See God's salvation plan,
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, "Where is He laid?"
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb;
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name;
It's the Master, the Lord raised to life again!
The voice that spans the years,
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us,
Will sound till He appears,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days,
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty.
Honor and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with pow'r and authority!
And we are raised with Him,
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered;
And we shall reign with Him,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

DSCN2911I will not be wearing a hat on Sunday. Thank goodness.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Extreme Couponing or Just Plain Idolatry

I should warn you right at the outset….

This might be a tad “ranty”. Just so that you are warned. And it might be a tad wordy as well. I have a lot of words to use up on this particular topic.

I coupon. There I have said it. I clip and use coupons to save us money on things that we NEED that are on sale at the grocery store. I love couponing. It is fun, I like saving money. The whole things sort of appeals to my OC nature. I even have a minimal database set up so that I know what goes on sale and when it will be at it’s lowest.

Here, I will help my progeny out…..DORK!

So I was very excited when I saw that TLC was bringing back “Extreme Couponing” as a weekly series. I had watched the original show last year and was totally fascinated. Of course I am totally fascinated by any show that has “The Real Housewives of…..” in the name so my choice in TV shows might be a tad suspect. But I also watch “Jeopardy!” every night and I get a question or two correct so that balances everything out.

And we won’t talk about my obsession with anything that has the word “Hoarding” in the title.

But I digress.

So, I remember being just amazed by the first show. The whole “how do they do that” kind of thing. Looking at my small but adequate supply of coupons and organizing system and wondering if I was perhaps going about this whole thing wrong. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to the store and rack up a bill that totals $1000+ and then pay $3.42 for everything.

If you say you wouldn’t want to do that then you are just plain lyin’.

But now I have three weeks of “Extreme Couponing” watching under my belt and I have a pretty different attitude about this show and what it is teaching, or not teaching as the case may be. I think the best way to present these are in bullet points. These are not listed in order of importance, they are just as they flowed from my feeble little brain.

1. I think these people are just hoarders with better organizational skills and cleaner homes.

Out of all of the couponers who have so far been profiled only TWO gave any indication that they used their couponing skills to help others in need. All the rest seem to buy and clutch their “hoard” to them. One of the “Couponing Diva Twins” has enough diapers stockpiled to keep a baby’s bottom clean and dry for over a year….and she doesn’t have any children. I have no clue if she is even married. Did she even give a thought to the fact that she could donate those to people who need them NOW and then re-stock pile when she needs them? I don’t think so.

Nathan has a huge stock pile that is for sure but we have also seen him purchase 2400 boxes of cereal that he donated to the local food bank. And we have seen him use some of his stockpile to make over 1000 care packages for troops overseas. He has a right heart attitude but he is about it as far as I can see.

2. The idea that this show is promoting, that with some concentrated work you too can go to the store on a routine basis and have shopping trips of this size, is just plain wrong. Time and time again I heard the same thing said….This is going to be my biggest trip yet.

That comment sort of tells me that yes they do shop and extreme coupon but that they don’t usually go to the store and get $1063.24 worth of products for the cost of their sales tax. They shop big but not that big.

3.These people were followed around by a film crew. You can bet your bottom coupon dollar that the producers of this show went to the management of the stores first to get permission to film in their stores. The management wasn’t surprised that the couponers were coming.

And if the stores knew that the couponers and film crew were coming and what they were intending to do then the stores also knew that there might be issues with checking out and “bending” the stores coupon policies. There was only one couponer that I saw that actually checked the store’s coupon policy. And when she found that it was going to interfere with what she had planned for this shopping trip she rearranged things.

On this week’s show one of the couponers was using coupons that were going to give her more back than the cost of the item, an “overage” in couponing terms. She was banking on an overage of over $50 that she was going to plow into something else. Let me tell you, at my grocery store, and I would guess at most other grocery stores as well, they don’t let you do this. Their policy is they will give you the coupon price up to the price of the sales item but not over.

The store let her do this.

But I bet if I came in with my minor stack of coupons they wouldn’t do it for me! I don’t have a film crew behind me (thank the good Lord).

4. They are out and out selfish when they clean the shelves of on sale products thereby depriving others of the ability to take advantage of the sales.

I encounter this little phenomenon every week when I shop. I shop first thing Monday morning, the day after the fliers are in the paper. And I can be assured that if there has been a really good deal on something say at CVS or Walgreens or Giant Eagle that I am not going to be able to find it at the stores in my small town because there is someone, and I don’t know who but I would REALLY like to, who cleans out the shelf on Sunday. If I want that item I am going to have to drive twice as far to another store to get it.

Selfish? You bet.

Yes, you could go to the Customer Service counter and get a rain check. But really, do you think that it is necessary to buy 73 bottles of mustard? Or all the boxes of pain reliever? Or all the bottles of Maalox just because you have a great coupon?

5. And lets talk about Sunday coupon inserts.

One of the couponers said that her stock pile of coupon inserts (which she claims are worth $2 million) has come from “God”. Ummmm, no, they came from the news paper distribution place that you called and asked for them. That is how you amass a stockpile of coupon inserts that takes up an entire room. You call the distribution center and you ask for the inserts that they have left. And you make a deal with them.

This woman (and others) used those coupons to go to the store to strip the shelves of all the items and bend the store coupon policy. Call me an uptight fundamentalist but I don’t think that is how God wants me to act. Just a thought.

6. There has also been lots of talk around the coupon internet about the fact that perhaps there is some “fraudulent” stuff going on. I don’t know enough about this particular incident to speak with authority on it but if you are interested then you can shoot over here and read about what is being alleged.

7. But foremost I have to say that “Extreme Couponing” illustrates the fact that ANYTHING can become an idol for you. When I hear people say things like…

I wake up thinking about couponing all the time

I do think my stockpile is almost as beautiful as my family

I spend 100% of my free time devoted to couponing

11th commandment is Thou Shall Not Pay Retail

I just shake my head. Really? Seriously? Do you mean to say that couponing is your sole focus. That is all that you think about? If it is then it is your idol.

And I think that is just pretty darn sad.

I am not going to stop watching this show, it is after all one of my weekly “train wreck” shows. You know, those shows that are loathsome and yet you cannot look away. But I will watch with a grain of salt that is for sure.

Rant done now….I hope.

And yet, I have the DVR set for the next episode. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Shame. No Shame At All.

Oh goodness.

I have been at the pictures again.

There is a much longer “Pictures From the Crypt” coming I promise. But I just had to whet your whistle so to speak with these beauties. I found my Jr. High year books in a box in the basement.

And there are some people that should be VERY afraid that I did. And that I blog. And then there is Facebook…and Twitter.

And I am going to owe a huge apology maybe to someone.

But it is always better to ask forgiveness than permission.

I hope.


If there are any small children or people with weak hearts you might want to move them away from the computer for the time being. I don’t want to scare anyone.

8th grade AOh Lordy. This is me in 8th grade. There was not enough money in the world that could have induced me to smile in the school picture. I had braces. I had major body image issues. I had about as much confidence in myself as a slug in a room full of chickens. I wasn’t smiling.

No way.

No how.

Kathy Santucci 8thAAnd this is my friend Kathy. Oh she is so going to kill me when she sees this. Thank goodness she lives a long way from me. She plays with pointy sticks so you need to watch out.

I blog. Kathy blogs.

I knit. Kathy knits, but much better than I.

I am occasionally funny. She is hilarious.

But you know what the really odd thing is? We weren’t that good of friends in Jr. Hi and High School. I don’t understand it.

Why? Why?

Now it is as if we are Knit Sibs separated at birth.

Well, we WERE but this picture may change that.

But I am sure not. Yeah, I know that Kathy will forgive me for this. I just couldn’t help myself and I didn’t have anything else in my brain to talk about and these pictures were staring me in the face.

She will still love me won’t she? She will still be my Knit Sib!

You won’t leave me will you Kathy?


Monday, April 18, 2011

Things That Give Me Joy

Some of the things on this list may not speak all that well of me but, well, what can I say. I am what I am. And if you don’t like me then it is your loss. I am eminently likeable.

It is a cloudy, cold, rainy day. Ah Spring in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. I just needed to do a little list of things that bring me joy to perk me up.


When I receive those unsolicited credit card requests that make me crazy. The ones that clog up my mail box and are just a waste of postage and trees.

I open them up, pull out the pre-paid postage envelope, shred the rest of the contents, and send the shredded materials right back to them. Hoping all the time that it clogs up their machines.

I am sorry but there it is. If the credit card companies would just stop then so would I.


Very early mornings.

Yes, I know that I am wired wrong. It has been mentioned before. But I am sorry to tell you that the best part of the day is first thing in the morning.

And when I say first thing in the morning I mean 5:30a-7a.

The most perfect time of the day. Especially in the summer. But really any time of year.


Reading a book that I have read a thousand times before. One that I know all the words by heart and can tell you at any given point in the book what is going to happen next and what has happened before.

That kind of book just brings me joy.

That must be why I started a re-read of Lord of the Rings on Saturday. I just knew that I had to do it. I am not sure how many time I have read it since my first venture into Middle Earth when I was in 7th grade.

But it is a lot.


Chipped Beef on toast.

Don’t judge.


DSCN2920This picture brings me joy. My Grandpa Pringle and I. My compatriot in crime. My raw green bean pusher. The man who could always be counted on to have a stick of gum, which he would gladly rip in half and share with me.

Some day I am going to buy a bottle of Listerine and a bottle of Old Spice and mix them together. And then I am just going to sit and smell. Cuz that is what Grandpa smelled like every day of my life. Listerine and Old Spice.


The Real Housewives of New York City

The Real Housewives of Orange County

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Suddenly I feel like I should go and take a shower.


Gorgonzola cheese straight up.

Lord. Have. Mercy.


Pansies. You cannot look at pansies and not be happy.


Devil’s Food cake, baked in a 9x13 pan and then frosted with a can of white frosting.


I need some right now.


OK, I am done now. I think I can get through the rest of the day. But suddenly I feel the need for Gorgonzola cheese and Devil’s Food Cake.


Friday, April 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 113)

7_quick_takes_smAh Friday has come upon us again. How the time flies these days. Below you will find my usual Friday blathering. Oh how I can blather. And when you are done reading my 7 pieces of weekly nonsense then click on the pic above to be whisked, at the speed of the weeds coming up in the garden, over to Conversion Diary to see what is happening with everyone else.

Now on with the blathering!

I spent most of Saturday scanning pictures into my hard drive. And boy did I find some doozies let me tell you.

The problem is, at one point in time I wasn’t all that careful about dating the pictures. And there are a bunch of pictures where I am just not sure which year they go in. So I just assign them to a year and hope for the best.

It is my ultimate goal to have most/all of my pictures scanned onto my hard drive. That is A LOT of pictures. But I am going to get it done eventually because I like to have them available to me even after I have scrapbooked with them.

I will admit that I have a box of negatives that I found in the basement but I have no way to read them and I don’t think that matters to me anyway.

But if you could see how many pictures I have yet to scan you would throw up your hands in despair. I know I do occasionally.

What happens when you have two perfectionist people who garden together as a team?


IMG_0075 IMG_0077You need to move that stake one inch to the left it isn’t perfectly aligned.

Are those strings right?

Yes, the measurements came out perfectly!

Do we have enough squares?

We need to put the stakes in going the other way.

You get the picture.

And speaking of gardening…

I did four hours of it yesterday and I am a hobbling 100 year old woman today.

It wouldn’t have been quite so bad if LookLeap and I hadn’t been measuring and digging and putting in stakes yesterday afternoon on top of the several hours of work that I did around home in the morning.

Ibuprophen is my best friend today I am thinking.

This is a shameless plug, cleverly inserted into the middle of my Quick Takes.

Cartoon Girl has started her webcomic. She has been working on Space Case Sally for a while now and it is great.

And I am only marginally biased.

No really, it is great.

Space Case SallyClick on the picture of Sally and go over and fall in love. She updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays I believe.

Why can’t I draw?

It is time to put the Hummingbird feeders out!! And that is what I am going to be doing today. I am actually a bit late in getting them out but still OK I think.

img_6761A Total Hummingbird Obsession

I just thought that you might like to see one of the pictures that I found and scanned. More will be coming next week in a new “Pictures From the Crypt” edition.


What statement was I trying to make with the trench coat and the shockingly green bell bottom pants?

I have absolutely no idea.

Oh and you can’t really see them but I had the most wonderful, neon green flip flops on. I loved them. But they were a casualty of the trip when Pilot Man broke them as he was chasing me up a flight of steps somewhere in the Lake District I think. I didn’t speak to him for quite a while I can tell you. Especially considering the fact that I had to wear my gosh awful extra shoes the rest of the trip.

I just thought you should be warned ahead of time about the pictures.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I know that Spring has finally arrived here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio because I can hear the woodpeckers in the woods.

We have loads of Downy Woodpeckers. They love the trees and the seeds from my feeders.

We have Red-bellied Woodpeckers who have very little red on their bellies and a lot of red on their heads. In fact, I currently have one at the feeder flinging seeds out onto the ground.

But my FAVORITE is the Pileated Woodpecker. If you ever watched “Woody the Woodpecker” then you are acquainted with them sort of.

I haven’t gotten a great photo of one yet but I am working on it. And let me tell you, these things are HUGE. We have at least one nesting pair in the neighborhood and you will see them swooping around. And you can tell when they are “working on a tree” because the sound is loud, rhythmic and slower that they average woodpecker. They put more power into it, sort of like a pile driver.

Ah I love Spring here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio. All 3 days of it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Smoothie Me Man!

I have come late the the Smoothie train.

I am not sure why it was that I refused to board the train, stubbornly sitting next to the track as people who knew about smoothies got on and enjoyed the ride.

It may be because every smoothie that I encountered had bananas in them….and I really don’t like bananas. Really.

And it might have been because people were always saying that they are good for you. When someone says something is good for you in my mind it goes straight in the same folder as turnips for me.

Really why did the Lord make turnips? I am going to ask Him some day

Me: Lord why did you make turnips? I just don’t understand.

The Lord: Because they are good for you.

I am really hoping for a better answer.

But now I have seen the light. And the angels sing.

And really, I have to give credit to my Mother-in-Law Linda who made me a smoothie when we went to visit them in Tucson. When your MiL says, “Hey do you want a smoothie for lunch.” you just say yes….even though your brain is screaming no.

So, because I love all three of you who read this I feel that I have to tell you how to make a smoothie. I am not attaching a recipe because this is really an amorphous sort of recipe. So sorry to those people (who know who you are) who need a recipe. Remember what I have told you before..

Put on your big girl panties and go with the flow. You will be glad…..

IMG_1588 These are some of the ingredients that you might need. This happens to be the fruit that I had on hand. A smoothie is what you make it. How much fruit you use is up to you. What fruit you use is up to you. And I prefer that the fruit I use to be frozen.

You can also add yogurt if you want. I don’t want.

Notice there are no bananas anywhere in the picture. And please disregard the peanut butter and the dog medicine in the back ground. I was just too lazy to move them.

IMG_1593 IMG_1590 IMG_1591 IMG_1592

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mango….yum. All of the fruit, except for the mango, were picked by my little old self, along with LookLeap, last summer. I think that is why I like smoothies now so much, they remind me of summer.

Summer, a time of year that comes so late to the Frozen Northeast Ohio and stays so short a time.

IMG_1594If you are using whole frozen strawberries I might leave them out for about 5 minutes so that they soften just enough so that you can cut them into smaller pieces. They just blend a bit better.

IMG_1595  Tick, tock, tick, tock…..waiting for the puree to begin. I haven’t ever had precise measurements for the fruit because I don’t think it really matters. A handful of this and a Handful of that.

IMG_1596 Add 1/2 cup milk to the blender. That is enough for one serving.

IMG_1597That is not honey, that is Agave Nectar. It is VERY sweet and is 60 calories/tablespoon. I NEVER add more than 1/2-1 teaspoon depending on the fruit I am using. I would not use honey, I don’t think the taste would be right. You can find Agave Nectar at your local whole foods store….or at Wally Mart. Your choice.

And sometimes I don’t use any Agave if the fruit is already sweet enough. Totally up to you. You could use regular sugar but it changes the texture a bit.

And then when all parts are added you put the top on the blender…

Putting the top on the blender is a VERY important step in the process. Bad things happen if you forget the top on the blender….

Not that I would know anything about that or anything……

And hit the Puree button.

 IMG_1598 IMG_1599IMG_1600

Puree until it is smooth and silky and yummy. Give it a taste. If it needs a bit more sweetener then now is the time to add it. I tend to go light on sweetener until I have tasted it. You can add more sweetener but you can’t take it back if you put too much in at the beginning.

Not that I would know anything about that or anything.

IMG_1601Come to Momma

Now go forth and make smoothies.

You know you want to.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Green is My Favorite Color Today

Ahhhhhhhhhhh. I have been digging in the dirt.

And I forgot how hard that is on my back. But really, I just wasn’t going to waste an afternoon that is 60F and sunny. Here is the Frozen Northeast Ohio 60F translates to 80F in other parts of the country.

We take what we can get.

IMG_1574 Oh there is so much to do in the garden. The first thing to do is to tackle the path.

IMG_1584My tools for the job. The small flat blade down in the bottom left corner is my chosen weapon against the moss.

I have to saw that for the last few years I have enjoyed watching the slow progress of the moss as it crept across certain areas of the back garden. But the time has come to clean it all out and neaten things up a bit.

IMG_1586AI am going to be doing this quite a bit in the next week or so depending on the weather. There are a lot of stone pathways around here.

Oh my aching back.

IMG_1579A I just want to remind you that when you put something into your garden know what it is going to do when planted. This is the sedum that ate the world. It came from the Parental Units and nothing, not even nuclear winter, can kill this stuff. One little piece breaks off and you have an infestation.

IMG_1577AAhhhh the first hosta are poking their little heads above the ground.

IMG_1580A  Damn, damn, damn! (Sorry I said damn three times. I hang my head in shame).

It always happens this way. Always. I think, “Hmmm, I probably should get out there and spray the day lilies as they first come up so they don’t get munched on. I will do that tomorrow if the weather is nice.”

Well it is tomorrow. And last night the filthy quadrupeds from the woods deer visited the garden.


IMG_1583A At least they don’t eat my daffodils.

IMG_1585A Or the Clematis. Oh Clematis I love you so. I know it is finally Spring when you start to appear.

And tomorrow……

Tomorrow LookLeap and I go over to the big garden to mark off the squares and think about the first BLTs.

They can’t be that far away.