Sunday, March 31, 2013


EASTER SUNDAY MORNING was not a good time to have a problem with the time (er, to have an alarm clock fail to fulfill its appointed task!)
But by monumental effort, a fast shower and a heavy foot, I was able to fulfill my appointed task at church this morning, where I was scheduled to arrive early and help prepare the Easter morning breakfast that was served. 

Directly following the Easter service, I hied myself back home to toss a salad to serve to The Yard Man and approximately twenty-nine of his kith and kin.

And following that, Reader Dear, I got to relax (oh, lift my glad voice!) and partake of the traditional and traditionally-fabulous Ham-and-Lamb meal prepared by the Three Chefs, all of them very closely connected through the Ties that Bind.

The thirty of us folks that filled that makeshift dining room were fortunate for...
the lovely garage setting!
the vibrant colors that offset the dreariness of the weather!
the conviviality and conversations around the tables!
the chocolate candy!
the chocolate truffle cheesecake!
the rich chocolate torte!
the chocolate...
uh, yes, all of it!

We even had two tiny tots to provide a vicarious Thrill of the Hunt!

That extended family, we lingered for a very extended time around those very extended tables.
Reader Dear,  Easter afternoon was a wonderful time to have no problem with the time!
Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013


OKAY, SPRING... ain't misbehavin'!
Clean behind the ears are you,
head held high (temperatures, too)
and a big sunny smile!

I am thanking you sincerely for allowing The Yard Man to get to his appointed rounds!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Critics may say---
---That there should have been more dialogue between the actors.
---That there should have been a lot more action.
---That the youngest actor should have had more of a starring role (considering his recent exciting debut).
---That the youngest actor should have had more of a minor role (considering his lack of experience).
---That there should have been more development of the plot.
---That there should have been a plot.
---That the ending is too cliched.
---That the ending is too abrupt.

What this director-producer is hoping to hear---
--- Oscar nominations must exceed a half-minute in length. Use these same fantastic actors and make the re-take longer!


child on left, cousin:  Small Actor
child on right, cousin & big brother:  Little Actor
infant in center, cousin & little brother:  Tiny Actor

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


(I know, it's been a while since my previous hodge-podgy posting.  But here you have it--several non-connected blurgs [blog blurbs*)

OUT-OF-TOWN CELEBRITY CELEBRATES his second birthday somewhat belatedly!

Even in his pajamas (or perhaps especially so), Viewer Dear, this famous little guy is one of the most entertaining visitors one could wish to host!  He sings!  He plays!  He tunes his new guitar!


Yesterday, Ms. Chicken-Who-Walks-About and her friend who often tags along were having a rough time with the weather.

Already being the birdbrains that they are, of course, it stands to reason they'd be particularly perplexed by the snowy spring day!

TWO COUSINS! A movie starring two of my tiny actors.
Tomorrow I will rush into your local theater, er, laptop,  its sequel:
(Oh, the possibilities, Viewer Dear, now that I've got this extended
line-up of actors at my disposal!)


This photo of the fantastic nighttime orb in the sky streaked so quickly to the blogged page  that it could qualify as a bonafide Current Event.

What I truly wish I could show you is the full Mr. Moon.  But this guy will not reach his limit of obesity for another five and a half hours, Viewer Dear (and, alas, I can't sit up so late, twiddling my thumbs and watching him grow, not even for you [though I surely regret to inform you]).


*My newly-coined word,
Reader Dear.  (Unless, of course,
someone else has beat me to the
punch and the word has already got
an official meaning.  In which case...
well, in which case I shall.....


Monday, March 25, 2013


OH, SWEET SPRING, how could you?!

Well, aha, you go ahead and do your fickle thing!  Fortunately for me, the fates have done me other favors!*

*In the form of a Small Actor come for a visit!**
**Dear Viewer, more movies to follow.



Thursday, March 21, 2013


MY CUPBOARDS, THOUGH FULLY loaded with a vast assortment of food items, still left me scratching my head over what to prepare for supper the other day.  So I got in the car and made a dedicated trip to the grocery store to buy pork chops. 

Just as I pulled into a parking spot, my phone rang.  It was the sister of mine who had informed me just the evening before that she was cooking pork chops for supper.
"What are ya doing?" she asked.

Well, so I told her my mission.
""Ha!" she giggled.  "I made you hungry for pork chops, didn't I?"
Then she suggested, " Get parsnips, too! Do you ever eat parsnips? We had them last night with the pork chops."
"I don't even know what they look like," I confessed.
"They're like big carrots, only white," she explained. "And they are SO sweet.  I roasted them, and they were  delicious!" 


Which is how it developed that I served a palatable repast of pork chops and parsnips (a few of the parsnips' colorful cousins thrown in for contrast).

*Plus a mixed-green salad with chia seeds and cilantro.  And a pink grapefruit dessert**
 **That pink grapefruit had been sitting for quite some time on the kitchen counter. I feared for its fitness.   But, lo and behold, it had aged to a stunning sweetness! After I'd finished eating my half, I announced to The Yard Man, "Now I'm going to do something that would have made my chicken-bone-apple-core-eating Daddy proud!" 

I turned that grapefruit skin to an inside-out state and did some gnawing! The Yard Man followed suit. Thus it ensued we both ended that meal with a good lip-smacking.

(In the unlikely event you would wish to know, Reader Dear, how I got those pork chops to an edible state:
1.  Patted both sides with a thin layer of flour
2.  Salted and peppered
3.  Put garlic-infused olive oil in the pan
4.  Heated the skillet, then added the chops
5.  Cooked on each side for about 4 minutes, med-high to high heat
6.  Poured red wine overtop (1/2 cup?) and slapped on a lid
7.  Put covered skillet into a preheated oven (350* with the pretty parsnips) for about 5 minutes. 
8.  Took skillet from oven and let sit with the lid on for another five minutes.
Mmmm. Now you know.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013




Monday, March 18, 2013


IT WAS SOMEWHAT SURPRISING that the weather forecasters were predicting snow for this part of the country... and we sure enough did have snow!  (Countless times we were led to believe in snow, and then discovered that snow did not exist [in our backyards and on the roadways, in any case]) !
I think the snow took even this wild fowl off-guard, kind of made a goose out of him.

Second Daughter happened to look out the window and spotted him wandering around the yard.  I  took pity and tossed him a piece of bread.  Befuddled as he was, he just flew away.

(Perhaps it was simply a matter of taste.  He may not prefer to have his bread sliced.)


Sunday, March 17, 2013


SAD TO SAY, the luck o' the Irish was not with me this evening!  I lost my 2012 Shuffleboard Championship title in this year's playoffs.

Of course, I'd have to say, when considering the venue, and the camaraderie with fellow competitors and spectators and even that one in attendance who never even watched the games, but simply lay on the floor making tiny comments and practicing his choir-conducting skills, I did have more than a wee bit o' fantastic good luck!


Saturday, March 16, 2013


 (Pi Day
 Ides of March
and St. Patrick's)

we have today, Dear Reader.

I decided to call it White Eggs and Ham Day*

(*Bacon substitute.
Orange marmalade and
butter later added to the toast)

Friday, March 15, 2013



For at least a part of this ominous day, I was protected from spontaneous fires.

*Which just means, Reader Dear,
the link will take you
to an old blog post.

Thursday, March 14, 2013



and because I did not have a working battery installed in my camera,
sadly, all I've got to show you is a small pile of leftovers.
There was...
vegan meatloaf,
sweet potato patties with gingered applesauce
an oh-so-yummy pasta dish
fabulous succotash which included dried cranberries and zucchini in the mix
black bean burger sliders with "frizzled" onions
mixed green leafy salad
okra gumbo with black-eyed peas
a tofu- peas- asparagus-peppers- saffron rice dish
and more!

And then, for dessert...
a platter of delicious fresh fruit--cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes
carrot-spice cake bars
creamy coconut and rice pudding
oh, and PI **

**They called it a fresh fruit "tort," but speaking mathematically, I'd say it was to PIE
what the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is to today's date!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013



Second Daughter was due to arrive at PHL (uh, the airport, Reader Dear) at 10:55a.m, but she must have had tailwinds, or a fast-winged  pilot.*  The man and I  picked her up at the door at 10:45a.m.

 and went in to the center of the city  for a bite to eat**,

and a few quick,
eclectic pics--
of an old building juxtaposed with a newer one,
and a spectacles-and-hat-wearing barber juxtaposed with a red hairdryer (not to mention a smiling client!
 [Reflected images superimposed were an added bonus  (Spy that white car, Viewer Dear? [Or do you see three?])!])

It was still a bright sunny midday in Philadelphia at 12:53p.m., when we abandoned our parking spot and  headed for home.

*Staying for a one-week visit.
**Speaking only for myself,
it was Gnocchi with Red Sauce.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


DISPOSAL OF THE LOOM was looming.  A working destination for it would have to be worked out, because The Yard Man and I were in agreement--there would be NO dragging it from the car, only to stow it in some dark corner, only to have it gather more dust, only to have it loom larger and larger  until such a time as Second Daughter might wish to try her hand at putting it to use.

So this morning I inquired of The Yard Man, "You asked your cousin's wife about taking the loom to use for a while.  Will she take it? How soon?  Could we take it to her today?"  And that is precisely, Reader Dear, how it came about that we set out for State College, PA, on this pleasant, sunny afternoon, the loom and several boxes of books and a rolled-up carpet riding along (We had not touched a thing since we lugged all this loot  from Virginia!)

Now, State College is a little more than two hours distant from our house, and I pulled out a map as we drove north,  checking the location.  "It's smack dab in the middle of the state!" I exclaimed to The Yard Man. "What will be our route?  Will we go through Belleville?"

"We won't be going directly through Belleville," said The Yard Man.  He was peering at his GPS.  "But we'll be near it."
And then he detoured off the direct route and we not only drove through the Beautiful Valley,  but we also meandered through another Amish area, this one heavily populated by Amish folks who drive yellow-topped buggies!  (What pizzazz!)

Aha!  We played tourists!  We stopped at a winery, and we stopped at a bake shop, and we also stopped at a small grocery store (The Yard Man was eagerly looking for moon pies! [Well, in all truthfulness, at the winery we were only looking for wine and a restroom.])

And then we drove over another  mountain and were looking right down on yet another lovely valley.
There was State College, spread out before us.
"Wow," I said.  "A round indentation in the very middle of the state--it's like the belly button of  Pennsylvania!"  
(The Yard Man harrumphed).

It wasn't  long before we reached the bottom of the mountain and were searching out the address The Yard Man's cousin had given him.  And soon after that....we were divesting ourselves of the loom! 

I have to tell you, once we got that dusty contraption through the doorway of The Yard Man's cousin's house, I let out a sigh of relief.  And Cousin's Wife didn't show one sign of exasperation when we couldn't piece together that jumble of parts; Reader Dear, that was also reassuring!  She showed us her many creative projects and served us a tasty supper.  Meanwhile we had an enjoyable conversation with these kinfolk!

Altogether, I'd say, the events of our day while disposing of that loom wove a very nice pattern!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013


BE SURPRISED.  BE VERY SURPRISED.  Because, ya know, it's rare that I talk about food that I've prepared, unless it's in order to stand myself in a corner, hang my head in shame, and let you point fingers and laugh at me!

But, ahem, this time I'm waiting for a prize.  (Go ahead and pin it on me, Reader Dear!)   Last night I got the bright idea to throw sweet red peppers into the baked corn I was preparing.  (I've still got plenty of peppers packed away.)

And, ah,  the minute I pulled the dish  from the oven and  saw its deeply golden color and got a whiff of its intense, savory aroma, I had to have a sample bite....
 ( Forgive me, this may sound a little corny)   I took a trip to Oooo-la-la!!

Here it is:
Q's Corny Concoction
2 Cups corn kernels*
1 Cup milk**
2/3 Cup cracker or bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 teasp. salt
1/8 teasp.  pepper
2 eggs
1 quarter to 1 half of a small sweet onion, roughly chopped
2/3 Cup chopped red bell pepper***

Supposedly serves 6
Place all ingredients in blender and pulse until  thoroughly blended.
Pour into greased casserole dish.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Avoid over-baking.  Take from oven when "set".
*I saw a lovely large bag of frozen organic corn at Costco.  I also bought it. Now I can just pull from the freezer, scoop kernels from the bag, and re-close.  Magnifique!

**Preferably whole milk.  I used whole milk and cut back on the butter.

***I may have used as much as a cup of chopped peppers.  I really don't know.  What can I say--it was an experiment, after all!

(Dear Reader, if you make this dish, let me know when you get back from Oooo-la-la!)

Saturday, March 2, 2013


ALL THROUGH THE WINTER months, I rue the fact that cold weather prevents me from enjoying certain activities.  Must I say it, Reader Dear, I'm not speaking here of ice diving or ice hockey?  Nope, there are abundant reasons why I'm not participating in such glorious winter play, but hmm, frigid weather is likely the least of them.  It's First Friday I've been missing!  During December,  New Year celebration, and the dead of winter, the First Friday events are not cancelled; but alas, I'm too warm-blooded to willingly stroll around the city in bone-chilling cold!

Which is precisely why I had such a great time yesterday, during the relatively balmy evening, attending First Friday in the city: Dining with friends, trotting in and out of the shops along the third block of Queen Street, and sampling the chocolates and wine proffered by the shop owners (most of them not quite so generous as all that, but offering free goodies, nonetheless).  Now, Reader Dear, you may not know, remember, or care in the least, but a great many of the shops in this area are stuffed with antique or vintage items.  Perusing the wares for sale is like traveling into previous eras of  time (ahem, my time!)
I knew in advance that this was true, and yet it was very surprising to discover a pair of my very own childhood roller skates!  They were missing the straps that used to hold them on, and I can't be absolutely sure that they were mine.  Aw shucks, I couldn't really even tell if they looked just like mine, but goodness, how they brought back memories of skating in the basement at the old home place.    Which  subsequently led me to the memory of snow-sliding down the backyard hill while standing on water skis*.

Oddly enough, during that era of time, bone-chilling cold was never a problem!
*It's a fact.  My siblings and I invented the sport of snowboarding!


Friday, March 1, 2013


THERE WAS MORE TO OUR SUNDAY in Virginia.   I've got to tell you, Reader Dear, about our afternoon stop in Colonial Williamsburg, because...well...


1.  This spot was so much a part of  every trip back to the old home place, all through the years.  It was fitting to end our goodbyes here.
2.  I wished to show you, Viewer Dear, how the Small Actor was accompanying us in Williamsburg, and was quite fascinated by the impromptu "monkey bars" and the tin whistle we purchased for him in the Apothecary Shop.
3.  In addition, I had to let you see how we dined in style with the small celebrity.
4.  And finally, there was the moon!  I can't help but tell you how we latched onto that fabulous full historic moon, and carried it with us all the way home to Pennsylvania!