Thursday, April 30, 2009

Other people's blogs

Reading blogs sucks up time...I can easily while away twenty minutes every morning looking at blogs.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a site I frequent, mostly for the luscious photos of food, in all stages of preparation. Check it out, I'll wait.


Today, The Pioneer Woman asks the question---------
What kitchen item can you not do without? (Or, for you grammar snobs: “Without what kitchen item can you not…do?” That doesn’t sound right, does it?)


At the time of this writing, there were over 14,000 responses!! We all have our favorite kitchen/cooking items, I guess. A broad, flat, wooden rice paddle is one of my favorites. I have a certain knife I prefer for peeling, and a specific roaster I like.


All of these items play second fiddle to THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM IN OUR KITCHEN, drum roll please,,,,,,,, Hilda's stainless steel mixing bowl!
You are thinking, who is Hilda and what is so special about that bowl? Hilda is my late mother-in law...she has been gone almost ten years and I miss her still. A wonderful woman, she was my mother in law for five short years. She had lots of good qualities, one in particular stands out right now.....
SHE BAKED.... every day, using this very bowl. There was always dessert aplenty when she was around.
The handle is perfect for vigorous stirring. And carrying fresh picked berries. And mixing meatloaf. Cake, cookies, bars, tortes, any dessert made using this bowl tastes fabulous. Of course, Dave does the baking, not me.
I believe Hilda's talent and baking spirit is in this bowl. Our kitchen would not be the same without it.Here is what Dave and the bowl produced today.... peanut butter bars anyone?


Monday, April 27, 2009

More Birding



We have just returned from our cabin up north. It was a good weekend for spotting birds and other wildlife. Despite the wet and cold, we saw a porcupine high up in a tree.




A flock of American Pipits we feeding in an open area near the cabin.


At Lake Hilbert we saw ten pairs of Common Eider. This is a weird sighting, according to all the books, the Eiders are sea ducks, not found in this area. We had a good look at these birds and their identification was definite. ???????



A bald eagle was feeding on a deer carcass near the side of the road.

Lots of turkeys, loons, sandhill cranes.


One grouse.





One the way home we saw pelicans on lake Butte des Morts.








Our trip home was highlighted with a stop at the dam in Shawano, on the Wolf River.

Hard to see in these photos, the Lake Sturgeon were spawning. Look very closely at the photos and you can see dark triangles sticking up out of the water. These are fins from thousands of sturgeon.... quite the sight.. something I will never forget.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Birding

Wednesday evening, near sunset, a flock of birds unknown to me was feeding in a shallow, flooded area of a plowed field. Of course, I had to stop, back up the car and have a good look. Because the light was fading fast, the birds' coloring was difficult to see. At least 50 of these birds were there.

Thursday morning, in the good strong daylight, I went back to see. I was surprised, about 10 of the LESSER YELLOWLEGS were still there. Easy to identify in the daylight by their size and the color of the legs. Migrating, I suppose.

I have never seen this bird before, and certainly not in such numbers. I am grateful to live so close to the Horicon Marsh, where such sightings are a part of everyday life.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the dawn patrol


Getting out of bed before dawn (unless one HAS to) is a sure sign of aging, in my opinion. This being MY blog, the reader gets nothing but my opinion. In my youth, I could work effectively and creatively in the evening hours. A vivid memory of blocking a knitted garment at 1 AM sticks in my mind , of course I was 19 years old at the time. I would rise late in the AM and admire my work from the night before.


Now, I can't seem to get going after 6 PM. Simple tasks are all I can do. Unload the dishwasher, knit plain stockinette, fold laundry.

Today, I was up before dawn, awakened by a disturbing dream that I could not shake. I still don't get much accomplished for the first hour I am awake......except coffee and knitting, but for heaven's sake.... 5 AM, two days in a row? What's up with that? Soon I will be having supper at 4 PM and going to bed right after Jeopardy!

On the knitting front, I finished one sweater



And have 95% finished on anotherAll that bleary eyed, early morning knitting is coming to fruition. Every age has it's benefits.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hope

Hope is defined as:
1.A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.
2. Something that is hoped for or desired

3. One that is a source of or reason for hope
4. The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help.


Hope is central to my life. Without hope, there is nothing to live for. Such an obvious and important thing, but easily dismissed as a cliche, or platitude. Almost every day I come in contact with someone who is really struggling with heavy burdens, and it seems so silly and small when I respond with a message of hope, an attitude that things will get better, keep trying, etc.

Hope has always been essential, but these days,
I think we need to be reminded.

A little bird reminded me this week.
With morning coffee in hand, I watched a little bird, probably a house finch, struggling to build a nest right outside our front door. This has been going on all week.
The cats love it. The nesting spot is behind a light fixture between the front door and a large window. NOT a good spot for a nest.....in my opinion. So the first day, I went out and removed the twigs that were the start of this home. I did not stop this determined and hopeful creature. Really not much room for a nest, either. That bird just keeps building. The new construction features a bit of felted wool.....

A scrap from my mittens....

This bird is just doing what comes naturally..... I think we humans should learn from this bird, and hold on to hope.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

another post about friends

This is my friend Betty, playing the piano. Betty is really good a LOTS of things, piano playing, knitting, singing, potato salad, sorting and organizing to name just a few.
Betty is learning to use the Internet, and in a little while, I am sure I can add "using the Internet" to the list of things she is really good at doing.... I am helping her learn.
I gave her an assignment for the weekend,,,,to find and read my blog......AND COMMENT.... Well, Betty, what have you got to say? A helpful clue ------you can comment as anonymous without signing up