Friday, May 26, 2017


FOTO FRIDAY:  Teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) sometimes provides  difficulty especially explaining idioms/ idiomatic phrases we use all the time in our daily speech. Then, there are those idioms that seem pretty self explanatory.  Such is the case I think for this week's FOTO FRIDAY.

Can you guess this week's idiom for my class from the photo below?

A bird's eye view...
Do you have any photos you can share using this idiom/phrase/ a different one? I will add the caption to this photo by the end of the day.

Click on the link if you missed last week's FOTO FRIDAY : NEW KID VISITORS

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Sometimes it is the unexpected that can certainly brighten an otherwise gloomy day. AND I can attest we have had some really gloomy days and I am not just referring to politics either. The weather has been referred to as drizzly, rainy, wet, dismal and yes,  gloomy. People are saying they have forgotten what the sun looks like, no kidding. 

Yet, yesterday the clouds literally allowed a little peek of blue skies and brightness. You see, on that social media of FaceBook in the message section from a local acquaintance I met through an art show arrived a message which read " This reminds me of you, want it?" accompanied by a photo of what appeared to be a woven basket.  Come to find out, it was purchased about 20 years ago at an art fair and its owner wanted to find it a new home.

I have added a lamp as suggested and must admit, both the gesture and visit made my day ever so bright.  It creates the coolest shadows and goes perfectly, don't you think?

Isn't it amazing how an unexpected gesture of kindness can add so much light?
                                          Thanks, Laurel! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Good to the Last Drop

That's it on the far left... Sriracha
I don't know about you but there's one condiment that has become part of our refrigerator door and although it is used regularly whether to kick up any dish like one of our homemade canned soups/ add to mayo for a sushi/veggie dip, it seems to last forever. When I noticed our bottle getting low, I made sure its replacement was awaiting in the cupboards. What condiment I am talking about is Sriracha, a Thai hot chili sauce consisting of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. 

Last week Natureman decided to add some water to what was remaining in our old bottle and add it to our End of the Year Garden Soup. Whoa, my lips were still burning after the meal. But is there such a thing as a good burn? Luckily, he had toasted a piece of bread to accompany it and I was going to add a dollop of sour cream to my bowl anyway. You can tell our household thinks Sriracha is good to the last drop.

You may have even tried it unknowingly and just couldn't figure out what it was unless you don't care for spicy hot. Last night the new bottle was opened and I tried a new marinade for fish. 
A definite two thumbs up. 
Don't worry you can adjust the amount of Sriracha...

Here's what you will need:

Sauce pan for to make fish marinade 
Baking pan
Sheet of aluminum foil
Cooking spray

Fish 3-4 pieces (Salmon/Wall eye, we had the latter ...) 

2 T melted butter
1/3 c honey
1/3 c Sriracha
1 T minced garlic
2T soy sauce
2 limes (juice one, slice thinly second)
2 T fresh chopped cilantro to sprinkle atop cooked fish.

Line cooking pan with foil.
Spray foil with oil
Place lime slices of one lime down,
Salt and pepper fish both sides
Place fish atop lime slices
Crunch foil like a boat around fish to contain sauce. (prevents messy clean up)

Sauce: Bring to boil butter, honey, sriracha, garlic, soy sauce and lime juice. Brush sauce all over fish. Coat completely.
Save remaining sauce to add later if desired.

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes. 
Broil just enough for ends to curl (3-4min)
Serve after sprinkling on some cilantro.

It's pretty and Deeeelish.  

Thanks pinterest for another yummy recipe:  Honey Sriracha Fish.

3 Older posts  with Sriracha:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


After another miserable cold rainy day what could be better than going to listen to some good music at the Driftless Book Store in Viroqua? 

Johanna Rose and Carl Nichols of Nickel & Rose
Nickel & Rose from Milwaukee  opened. This talented charming duo just returned from 4 months of an European tour through 9 countries (mostly Eastern) and a lot of performances. Their banter shared experiences and inspiration of their song writing.   

Their evening's first song was the powerful spiritual "Ain't Going to Let Nobody Turn Me Around" which they sung while in Romania during the protests this winter to a crowd of some 50,000. Wowser. The very thought gave me goose bumps. 

Johanna, a traditional bluegrass bassist has found a comfortable harmonic vocal fit with guitarist Carl Nichols. Although they profess to really not play blues, there's definitely a spiritual flavor and Carl's music studies's presence of  Southwestern African melodies is ever present.  He said there wasn't a market for his African music but he has found a way to incorporate it. I heard some Flamenco runs in there too.

After a brief intermission and time to browse the books/ get a snack/drink, Chris Koza, out of the Twin Cities shared his music. 
Besides solo gigs, he's part of the band Rogue Valley, and actually in rehearsal for a play from which we got to hear a solo.  In addition we got to hear his song Wolves and the Ravens in the sound track of Ben Stiller's movie 'The Secret World of Walter Mitty.' Chris is a seasoned performer with a soothing voice and sweet audience rapport. 

Below is a snippit from our evening...


No matter when, do be sure and go listen to your local talent. You will be doing yourself a favor.

Thanks to youtube for Nickel and Rose's rendition of Ain't Going to Let Nobody Turn Me Around

Former Driftless Posts: Click on...

Monday, May 22, 2017


Westby, a 20 minute drive down the road remembers its roots as it celebrates Norwegian Constitution Day with music, history and food. As Norwegian settlers brought their Lutheran religion, foods (like lefse, rommegrot and lefapolsa) and crafts (ie rosemaling) and culture to this little Coulee town, participants can enjoy all of these during the weekend celebration. 

 Even a blustery 50 degree day with dark clouds couldn't dampen spirits Sunday. We had to deny it was spring and pull back out the fleece, layer and bundle up.  Chilly indeed making last week's 80 degree days a memory. 

Besides Syttende Mai Royalty and Parade Marshalls,

Festival Royalty come from all over the region to have a float in the parade with townsfolk either in the parade/spectators awaiting the thrown candies.

Our town's Snowtrail Days

Cashton Fall Days

Houston Hoedown Days

Warren Cranberry Festival

La Crescent Apple Festival

La Crosse's Oktoberfest

Of course, The Sons (and Daughters) of Norway...


All sorts of characters to give candies to the spectators...

 We were there really to see family,  the littles...
 Abby with Grandma Denise far l and Mom Jolene,in green

Kylie (center) riding the Reading Library float
 and bonus granddaughter Haley marching in her highschool band

Despite the nasty cold, all had a good time and we returned to the kids's warm home to celebrate our very own Princess Abby's 6th birthday.

And as they say in Westby til next Syttende Mai 

"Mange takk min ven, ha en behagelid reise."Many thanks my friend, have a pleasant journey."

Friday, May 19, 2017


 A fun thing about having goats is we usually have new kids each spring. Other kids, the human kind, love to come meet them.  Actually if truth be told, the big people, those adults, enjoy the visit a lot too. Thursday was another such day as two great nieces of my jazzerbuddy Judy spent the late afternoon with us. 

Brenna and Harper offer clover to Zoko

Harper meets Zelda
Jacqueline wants attention too

Hugs for Zelda from Brenna
And hugs for Zoko

 "They are so soft."

Dandelion play with Jacqueline...

The girls got to learn about milking and try it out

Note Jacqueline's demeanor. "Could we have less talk and finish this up." 

and witness natural milking too. 

            Nothing like learning firsthand how we get milk...

Any pics you'd like to share re: goat kids? Send them my way.

Judi shared her buck Godfrey with us. From what I hear he really gets around...

Thursday, May 18, 2017


In the Peace Garden of Roberts Bird Sanctuary, even the flowers shed a tear yesterday.

Go back 3 years ago to August 2014 and Natureman's Aunt Ruthie was happily celebrating her 90th. 

Fast forward to yesterday and most of these same folks were able to be present as we remembered what one of Auntie Ruthie's friend's called a 'bodacious' lady with a boisterous laugh and a good heart. In between rainshowers we travelled from Wisconsin to the funeral home to the Workman's Circle gravesite, a condolence meal at Sholom home and finally the shiva later that evening.

Auntie Ruthie would have enjoyed her sendoff. Memories of her full life as the importance of family, friend to all ages, a good cook, an activist protesting injustices, war, traveling even to D.C. for Planned Parenthood. She was not a quiet soul and you knew where she stood on the issues. A very sharp woman indeed.

Since I was usually taking pics this is the only one I have with me in it with Natureman, his Auntie Ruthie and Cousin Phyllis (one of her 3 daughters) after a Balto Bat Mitzvah when we were all a bit younger... 

Auntie Ruthie, your soul is with those you left behind. My life is fuller having known you. Geh gesund...