Monday, November 26, 2012

Boom - You're Dead.


OK  I have to admit that I caught myself congratulating a grandson on FB for shooting a huge doe and then rethought it.  Heck what am I doing? I know he is proud of his sportsmanship but how can I condone this hunting culture that puts an armed weapon in the hands of a child?

I have always had an issue with guns.  Just look at my upbringing where my brothers weren't even allowed to own 'toy' guns.  Of course that didn't stop them from picking up sticks and pretending that they were shooting at things... Maybe someone once gave them a super soaker one year but it did mysteriously disappear. Hmmmm. My parents were sending a message that it is not ok to use guns as a plaything.

Yet today's parents let kids watch inappropriate violent movies and play those video games where the kids shoot at anything that moves... Now there's a comforting thought. Why then would we be shocked at the increase of youth deaths caused by firearms?

" Children in the most rural areas of the US are as likely to die by gunfire as those in the biggest cities, a new analysis of nearly 24,000 deaths finds. Not surprisingly, murders involving firearms are more common among city youth. But suicides involving guns and accidental fatal shootings level the score: they are more prevalent among rural youth."

If you have to wait until you are 18 to vote/ drink/ heck fight for our country then what in the world are we doing as a society putting a loaded gun in the hands of a pre-pubescent person/ even leaving weapons in the house? Have we gone completely mad?

Oh yeah, I know they have to take a gun safety class. A friend teaches these classes and they are always full with wanna be hunters ages 10 years and up.  A kid with limited sleep/ inexperience that throws a fishing line in the water doesn't bother me quite the same as having a 'loaded' weapon.


Yep it is definitely a different culture living in 'hunting' country where bow season leads into all the other seasons... .. kids are taken out of school/ too tired to make it to back to school after hunting. Don't expect me to understand the rite of passage of a Dad taking little kids hunting/shooting.  I know it's 'tradition' and a 'male bonding thing with even girls wanting to be part of the activity. Yeah, maybe Moms are relieved to not have their guys underfoot for long stretches of the hunting days. Gee, look at all the different hunting seasons that they could be out of the house!

Deer
Black Bear
Water Fowl
Wild Turkey
Small game- rabbits. squirrel
Other Game Birds- pheasant, grouse, partridge, crow, woodcock, mourning dove
Furbearers- coyote, wolf, fox, beaver , mink, muskrat, bobcat

As light entered the End of the Rainbow Saturday, it wasn't long belong before the first shots resounded marking the last day of deer hunting season... I pray that the guns are being locked away along with the ammunition hidden elsewhere and keys placed where only an adult knows their location. I don't think I would sleep very well otherwise...











Friday, November 23, 2012

BLACK Thursday?

I have to admit that I remember when the kids would go with their Dad to find some bargains at electronic    stores the day after Thanksgiving. They'd even come home with 'free' stuff for arriving early/ at designated hours. Wow free stuff. 
    I saw this pic of shoppers camped out in front of a major retailer ... Have we gone crazy?

As we all know, nothing is free as you buy other 'unneeded' stuff/ such a deal that you couldn't refuse. Look at this year's  Wal-Mart's offer:
"Walmart is also offering a Black Friday guarantee. If you are inside the store between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving, you are guaranteed the iPad, the Emerson 30-inch 720p LCD TV or a LG Blu-ray player for $38. If they sell out during that hour, you can get a guarantee card, but you must pay by midnight and you can only get one of the big three selling items."


The newspapers were stuffed with all these deals telling you what you had to have. I am so glad to be in a totally different place now and I doubt that I can attribute it to being older/ wiser . Perhaps I have found a different contentment  to realize that there really isn't anything I am lacking/ need. Wow that feels good. I don't have to wait for a parking place at a mall/ even leave the Valley. I guess getting old can have its advantages.
As all holidays/unofficial holidays I was curious as to how and when Black Friday began and Wikipedia helped me as usual. SO if you're curious read on a bit of paraphrasing and a little ranting ...
In the United States there is a relatively new tradition that actually began in Philadelphia in the 60's called Black Friday so named due to the heavy traffic and pedestrian traffic after Thanksgiving. The term Black Friday then spread elsewhere in 1975 to mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Special early sales kick started shopping. 
What is great about this unofficial holiday is that other non-retail employers gave their employees the day off which is the best gift ever. This also added on to the number of potential shoppers. In 2005 it became the heaviest shopping day of the year where a business could turn a profit /' be in the black.'

Retailers moved door openings from 6:00 am to 5:00 or even 4:00 in 2005. Then last year major retailers like Target, Kohl's, Macy's, Best Buy,etc... opened at midnight. This year it was Walmart that led the way to open its doors at 8:00pm on Turkey Day. WHAT???? 
I am 100% supportive of disgruntled workers' walkout for being requested to lose their holiday time to be at work for an 8 pm opening for now what must be called a Black Thursday. Like HELLO we are not changing the name of this unofficial holiday. Give people a day off... I swear nothing is sacred anymore.
Well it certainly does not change my mind about the amount of business I am willing to give Wal-Mart due to their terrible labor practices all in the name of a profit. Have you thought about boycotting them and writing a letter? Perhaps that should be in my things to do.  The only thing leaving the End of the Rainbow Valley  on a Thanksgiving night  will be family and friends that are sated dinner guests...




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Anagramming...

So much to be THANKFUL for:

                                                   G rateful for all my good fortune

                                                   R andom acts of kindness

                                                   A bility  to enjoy my blessings

                                                   T ime to smell the roses 

                                                   I nvestigate every day's wonders

                                                   T ry new things

                                                   U tilize my education

                                                   D elight in my family and friends

                                                   E xperiences of past and present ...

                                        Thank you all for being part of my world!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do the Mashed Potato...

Do you know what this is?


                                                         
                                       It looks like a giant garlic press but it's not...


It is  called a RICER.

Just when you think you have all the gadgets you need, all of a sudden you have a new favorite one especially at Turkey time.  Actually this one was received as a gift by accident back when I lived in Milwaukee.  One day I was visiting in Cumberland's teacher lounge at lunch time talking about needing to replace my rice cooker.  It had really had a long lifetime as it was a wedding gift some 28 years before. One of my sweet colleagues overheard the conversation and the next day arrived with a "ricer" as she had two. I laughed and expressed my appreciation for her generosity but I was talking about my rice cooker. Chuckle, chuckle and I had no clue whatsoever what a ricer even was. She insisted I take it and that it was great for making perfect mashed potatoes.

Hence it gets pulled out this week to help make a new  'Sweet Potatoes' Rachel Ray recipe.

                                       I think that you will enjoy it as well...

You will need:

3 lb sweet potatoes diced small, cooked (riced/mashed)
½ stick melted butter/margarine
sliced banana (secret ingredient) 
orange zest
juice of one orange juice
1/2  c brown sugar ( you certainly don't need all this )
½ - 1 c chicken stock 
salt
pepper
grated nutmeg




Cook the secret ingredient banana in the melted butter.


Add orange citrus zest. Now cut open that very same orange and -

Squeeze the juice of that orange, giving it a minute to cook down.

Dump in the riced cooked taters (sweet potatoes).

Finally the remaining ingredients.
 The 3 S's  :  Sugar, stock and seasonings.



A first for me was  grating the nutmeg since I had always bought it 'ground.'

                                                      It really is a nut. Who knew?



Mix all your ingredients... VOILA,   What's not to like? The Kitchen Fairy has hit again...








Paper Emergency

There's one guarantee when this family has a get together and that's the consumption of paper goods.  For guys who have lived off the land and talked ad nauseam about conserving, there's obviously a flaw in the system...


What am I referring to?  Not only the consumption of but the 'waste' of paper products... Holy moly. One of the 'definites' on the shopping list before Thanksgiving arrives this week is to replenish Kleenex, paper towels and most importantly the toilet paper.

I don't know about you but as a child I was taught to use these sparingly. Was it school that made sure we just took one Kleenex?  When I use a Kleenex, it takes on more than one life, changing shapes and states many times. Can you relate?  I use a kleenex until it's so limp/ used, it's screaming to be thrown away. In fact sometimes I hate to admit it but it can be found months later in some pocket and then finally get tossed.  BUT these guys grab more than one at a time for that blow/runny nose barely putting a crinkle in the Kleenex and then toss it. I watch in shock.

And it's not different with those paper towels. I buy the more expensive absorbent but sturdy kind that can actually be rinsed out and finish a job.  The new rolls nowadays even have perforated sheets so that if it's a small job to be done, you can now take a quarter/ half a sheet.  I shudder as I watch 2-3 whole sheets removed to perform a tiny task / worse yet, blow a nose. OMG.

And then there's the TP, toilet paper.  It must be magical because it disappears. Rolls of it. Once again, sheets are ripped off to blow noses even when the Kleenex box is sitting right there, and we won't go into the quantity needed for its real purpose/ is it women just use less?  Is this a gender thing?

OK on top of resupplying these items,  I now have to worry if these paper products are Koch Brothers' as I do tend to look for sales and I certainly don't want the profits going into their pockets at least not from the End of the Rainbow Valley...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tundra Time...


                                                                                                                     

 Every November there's a loud noise resonating from above long before you see a thing and then  these white dots start appearing on the Mississippi.

 Making their way south  from the Arctic, the Tundra Swans arrive in thousands and land, resting and feeding on arrowroot tubers until they are ready to continue their trek eastward to Chesapeake Bay for the winter months.

The upper Mississippi has become an important staging area for this fall migration. Actually in the '70s only a small number consistently stopped but now those numbers surpass 30,000 and swan viewing has become a fall recreational activity.


Natureman and I make an annual 45 minute trek ourselves to view this magnificent sight Thanksgiving week to the other side of the Mississippi  actually directly opposite us.  There is a viewing station on the Minnesota side south of Brownsville where I snapped these pics.



A lot of birders, photographers with ginormous cameras and people just like us come to partake in the incredible sight. The noise resembles children playing on the playground.  Take a listen to these swans I video'ed this year ...

http://youtu.be/LBs_QOtWg4g

Actually a new viewing station was just completed this week on our side of the river   south of  Goose Island which even has its own Park Ranger equipped to answer questions regarding waterfowl using a spotting scope.

Swan facts: Tundra swans breed at 2-3 years old and mate for life in their Arctic home where they nest as spring thaws and give their offspring up to 6, brownish colored cygnets, over 2 months to mature. An adult swan is white weighs about 13-20 pounds with a wing span of about 6-7 ft.  The swans will eat 6.2 lbs of tubers per day... They certainly eat their veggies.

So eat up guys, it's Thanksgiving and you have a long flight ahead of you.  Just honk as you fly over  End of the Rainbow Valley...



Friday, November 16, 2012

Don't Be Such a Turkey...


The best thing about a holiday are the memories it creates and my favorite holiday is soon approaching… Turkey Day here we come.

 When I lived in Little Rock I was the proud recipient of my friend Martha’s wonderfully seasoned leftover turkey carcass every year.  In her household that carcass would have otherwise been tossed whereas I on the other hand viewed it as a treasure and means to have a phenomenal turkey soup/ broth base for future meals.

Now living in colder temps, it’s a great next day lunch to warm up a winter day...

Here’s one version of my Turkey Carcass Soup- 


           1 carcass with left over stuffing
(internet pic will be replaced by this year's version soon)
         3 large carrots, chopped
         1-15 oz can green beans,drained
         1 cup chopped celery
         1 c chopped fresh spinach
         1 c chopped cabbage
         2 c white rice
         1 onion, peeled whole/ diced
         2 bay leaves
         1 T poultry seasoning
         1 t ground sage
         garlic salt to taste
         ground black pepper, to taste
Directions:
Pick your Thanksgiving turkey nearly clean. 
Add carcass including juices and pan leftovers into a large pot.
Add green beans, celery, spinach, cabbage, white rice. 
Add enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for an hour or so.
Skim off foam.
Add water as needed and the seasonings.
Remove turkey bones, skin and  onion for me.

Make some cornbread/ use your leftover rolls to chow down.

I cook ours on top of our wood stove now and the aroma wafts through the house all day as it simmers, creating a new memory in the End of the Rainbow Valley...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Timber...




There's a lot of wood being cut in the valley and it's not all by our neighbor .  Today with temps being unusually nice, Natureman finally tackled this one eyesore of a boxelder which had cracked in half with one of our high wind storms.

The chainsaw got a real workout today as it took down more than one soft wooded dead boxelders - it almost took down Natureman. A widow maker we did not need!
But the men of the valley aren't the only ones that are busy as witnessed if you head down towards Coon Creek which borders our property. Someone else has been taking down some trees. Before you get to the asphalt road of Lietke Lane there is a pond that has been dammed up in spite of its spring fed waters that would normally run back into the creek.

You may remember the day I mentioned  a small tree across the road forcing me to get out and move it in order to continue on my way. It wasn't just a big branch.

It had been cut down and it bewildered me why the neighbor hadn't finished the job if he needed that wood. Very uncharacteristic of him...






It was apparent as I looked around that there were alot of downed trees and not done by the teeth of a chainsaw either.  Someone had really gone to town working on all sizes of trees.




My goodness someone namely, Mr./Ms Beaver had been very,  very determined to make sure the pond doesn't disappear.  How could such a small animal be so ambitious?  How can they be so strong to move not only small trees but really good sized ones as well.

There had been a fellow who used to come to trap the beaver and muskrat around here a while back so it's no wonder that I hadn't see what they could do.






(pic borrowed from the internet)

My curiosity  piqued as to the chompers on a beaver so of course I googled 'BEAVER'.  I wonder what his dentist says about the condition of those front two teeth and how they are being used. Do you think they get overlays ?

The saying "busy as beaver "definitely has new meaning in this valley...  It's just too bad that they can't take care of all the trees that are already down... Now that would really be helpful!








Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Storing your nuts...

 I don't know about you but everybody is getting ready for winter in these here parts.  Whether it's stock piling wood, winterizing one's house/ garden, putting away porch furniture/ taking out seasonal clothing and decorations. Busy, busy, busy especially for the procrastinators.  It's also a very busy time for the animals...




The squirrels have been working overtime at our feeders in between the busy bird time, hoarding seeds. Romeo, our watch dog,  has basically tired of chasing them away as I guess he figures they need something to live off of in the winter too...





Well while I was parking in 'town, I spied a very busy 'city' squirrel with packed cheeks scurrying back and forth between two parked cars.  He kept looking around to see if he was being watched.  He just looked like he was up to no good and then he stopped and seemed to be checking out the under carriage of one car. Then he did a very curious thing, he stood up for the longest time as if he was looking for something. All of then sudden he disappeared into the back bumper of the car.



Poor guy is going to be really disappointed when he goes back to this storage place and it is no longer there.  I think we all know how he will feel... we thought we had enough of a 'cache' for hard times too...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Coke/ Koch are Both Bad for US/U.S.

Last night after smiling for an hour watching one of my favorite shows "Dancing WIth the Stars" Natureman flipped the channel to PBS.  There we watched  a PBS program that really riled me. 'Riled' is Southern for it really got me all worked up...

It was called:    Park Avenue : Money, Power  and the American Dream.

I have a feeling when you think of New York's Park Avenue like me you think of those that have made it - THE RICH.

A new game appeared on Madison's Capitol's square
Our lives were illustrated using the game of Monopoly. Remember the game where everybody started out with the same amount of money.  Through luck (roll of the die) and strategy you could acquire property and wealth. BUT what if the rules were different and one player was given twice as much $ as you to begin,  how fair would that be?  Park Avenue was on that board game but reality is that there are two ends to Park Avenue and if you cross the bridge to the other end you'll find poverty with 30% unemployment.

At the wealthy end 470 Park Avenue resides more billionaires than any other building.  People like John D Rockefeller Jr used to live there but now most of the 31 residents are Hedge Fund managers. One of the Koch Brothers even lives there.

A year ago I had never even heard the name Koch.  I remember taking pictures of  political signage  -one one had the outline of the state of Wisconsin and inside it said WISKOCHSIN. There was also a caricature of the Koch Brothers walking a Scotty(our governor is Scott Walker). The truth is these 2 men do own way too much and it's not funny.

The Koch Brothers are so wealthy that they can even buy freedoms -  the Freedom to pollute ( through their oil industry), the freedom to avoid taxes  - heck the freedom to do whatever they want.  They have given billions to Pacs, politicians, the Tea Party, even universities to have programs to teach 'deregulation' and so on and so on. They have also found out it is much cheaper to buy 'state' representatives. Wisconsin's very own Golden Boy Paul Ryan is in their pocket and receives more money from the Koch brothers than any other politician.
His budget program called The Path to Prosperity is now in the heart of the Republican Party and its purpose is to eviscerate social supports.  The more you take from the public sector, the more people are going to suffer. What once allowed people to be able to pull themselves up is now being taken away especially ' education.' Billions from educational programs. Busting unions including teachers unions doesn't strengthen the educational system . It was those unions that guaranteed class size, teacher competencies, etc. It's all about privatization, not the public good.


There just happened to be an article in this past Sunday's paper regarding Kwik Trip , Wisconsin's convenient stores, who say it's unfair competition that Wisconsin Gas and Electric can sell LP gas for LP automobiles because they don't want them in the business. This is the same business that told their employees at company meetings that they had to sign pledge cards to support our illustrious Governor Walker and his party. Kwik Trip just coincidentally happens to sell Koch Brothers gasoline in their gas stations...



The election may be over but this class warfare is not. The Kochs do not have any one's best interest at heart except their own.  Even if I live in the End of the Rainbow Valley  in the middle of nowhere, these people affect my life, our lives, there's no escaping them. So are we going to sit idly by and  let them control the destiny of our country?  Deregulation is NOT the answer.






Monday, November 12, 2012

Twas a Famous Victory...


It was a very rainy dismal day Sunday in the End of the Rainbow Valley. For me being Armistice/ Veteran's Day, a true day of tears to remind us of all those that have given their lives to fight for our country. After so much loss, besides knowing if we won or not, do we even remember why we were involved in these wars? ZAHOR. Remember.

This poem is one of the first written in 1798  telling the story of the 'futility of war, the foolishness of elders, and the wisdom of children.'   “Its call is to the people of the coming generations more than to ours, for it seeks to arouse feelings and attitudes just beginning to be felt among civilized people. Its cry is the rising voice of humanity; the protest against the senseless slaughter of war.”(1909 anthology)
Click on the blue title link to hear the poem being read... Its lyrics are below. 
It was a summer evening,
Old Kaspar’s work was done,
And he before his cottage door
Was sitting in the sun,
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.
She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round
Which he beside the rivulet
In playing there had found;
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.
Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,
And with a natural sigh,
“‘Tis some poor fellow’s skull,” said he,
“Who fell in the great victory.
“I find them in the garden,
For there’s many here about;
And often when I go to plough,
The ploughshare turns them out!
For many thousand men,” said he,
“Were slain in that great victory.”
“Now tell us what ’twas all about,”
Young Peterkin, he cries;
And little Wilhelmine looks up
With wonder-waiting eyes;
“Now tell us all about the war,
And what they fought each other for.”
“It was the English,” Kaspar cried,
“Who put the French to rout;
But what they fought each other for
I could not well make out;
But everybody said,” quoth he,
“That ’twas a famous victory.
“My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly;
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
“With fire and sword the country round
Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then,
And new-born baby died;
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.
“They said it was a shocking sight
After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here
Lay rotting in the sun;
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.
“Great praise the Duke of Marlbro’ won,
And our good Prince Eugene.”
“Why, ’twas a very wicked thing!”
Said little Wilhelmine.
“Nay … nay … my little girl,” quoth he,
“It was a famous victory.”
“And everybody praised the Duke
Who this great fight did win.”
“But what good came of it at last?”
Quoth little Peterkin.
“Why, that I cannot tell,” said he,
“But ’twas a famous victory.”


Let us not only remember all those that served but also those that continue to serve but the reasons of  our country's involvement...

Total Casualties as of December 13, 2010
Total ServingBattle DeathsOther DeathsTotal DeathsWoundedPct Killed
Revolutionary War4,4354,4356,1880
War of 1812286,7302,2602,2604,5050.79%
Mexican War78,7181,73311,55013,2834,15216.87%
Civil War2,213,363140,414224,097364,511281,88116.47%
Spanish American306,7603852,0612,4461,6620.80%
World War I4,734,99153,20263,114116,316204,0022.46%
World War II16,112,566291,557113,842405,399670,8462.52%
Korean War5,720,00033,7463,24936,995103,2840.65%
Vietnam War8,744,00047,35510,79658,151153,3030.67%
Desert Storm2,225,0001472353824670.02%
Enduring Freedom1,0993181,4179,6750
Iraqi Freedom34838904,40831,9350
Totals579,809430,1971,010,0031,471,900



Friday, November 9, 2012

Sex in the Garden...

Sometimes when you are not looking Nature is involved in a little hanky panky  ... and that's just what happened with our squash in the garden this year.  The end result is this unusual yellow/orange squash with green stripes.  Trust me we did not plant this...


It is pretty and has continued to change colors as it ages but it 's texture is a mix between delicata and acorn squash. It is really super sweet.  We have lots as you can see so it was time to try a new recipe...

                                                                  'Squash Fritters'



                   Actually the adapted recipe was really tasty and not bad in presentation either.

You will need:

2 c squash (baked)
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 med onion chopped
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 c chopped parsley/ cilantro

First cook a med size squash by cutting it in half, removing seeds and sticking it in a 350 oven for about 20-30min/ til tender. Fork test it and scoop into a bowl discarding the skin.

Add eggs, chopped onions, shredded cheese followed by  bread crumbs and parsley. Blend everything.

Spoon out mixture into sprayed cupcake cooking tin.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes/ until top browns.  ( it took these 1/2 hour)

These would be great appetizers if you use a mini muffin tin ( yield 2 dozen)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Let's Go to the Movies...

We did something this afternoon that we very rarely do ... we went to a movie.  Netflix usually supplies most of our movie needs but sometimes you just don't want to wait to see a movie. Natureman is not a big TV watcher either so I am always a bit nervous about how much he is going to try to talk during the movie in a public theater. :)

Anyhow with a matinee coupon in hand we went to town to see Argo, the little known story of the Iran hostage crisis where 6 American embassy workers were given refuge by the Canadian ambassador. Most Americans do not know of the  rescue CIA covert operation and it wasn't until 1997 that President Clinton declassified the mission.

This movie reminds us of another time when U.S. policy interfered in the leadership of a foreign government... Sound familiar?

It was a real nail biter if you bite nails. OK Intense, a must see. *****

Directed and acted in by Ben Affleck.  John Goodman and Alan Arkin enjoyed their roles.

Actual 80's footage included. Natureman reminded me that this time in history would be for our children like knowledge of WWII was for us.






 

Mixed Bag of Goods



Calm after the storm? I don't think so...
I don’t know about you but I have a dull feeling this morning … Don’t get me wrong,  I do feel RELIEF that Mr. Romney won’t be our President and President Obama will have a chance to continue moving us forward.  The NY TImes referred to it as “ a win about jobs, spreading the tax burden and rejecting politics of deceit. ” BUT what will we do with all this hatred caused by FEAR.

Elated that this campaigning season is over?  Not me, because reality is that there is still so much work to do…  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guess what today is?


Today marks the day that we won't have to listen to any more campaign ads every time we turn on the radio/TV until the next election at least.  Hip Hip Hooray!  Even the President is clapping to that. It has been tough to watch this mudslinging campaign and I don't know too many folks who are sad to see Tuesday polls close. All I can say is that I hope that by the next time we vote there will be campaign reform with spending limits. Way too much money spent on ads that could go to social programs.


Enough already. I don't know if you realize this but this is the MAN I want to be given the chance to be  President for the next FOUR years and this is why:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Original Sin in a Box...

Did you know that original sin is boxed?  Yep, if  you look carefully at this box, you will see a wooden stick protruding because it has speared an apple... but not just any apple ... a large Granny Smith and this one is dipped in caramel, Belgian dark chocolate and rolled in pecans. Uh huh, a 'turtle' apple.

It could be shared by 10 friends if a person was nice... and maybe that's where the sin part comes in but this particular one was going home to Natureman. Since he's probably not sharing, you could still  partake since Amy's Candy kitchen does ship.

You could say it's all my friend Sue's fault. After attending a meeting in St. Louis and badgering non- stop a Cedarburg resident she met about where her Amy's apple was, a surprise package was delivered to my friend's La Crosse's home. My mouth started watering after Sue posted about her newest best friend's gift.

When I lived in Milwaukee's Northshore I used to frequent the place where they create this decadence.
A half an hour north of Milwaukee's downtown lies the quaint town of Cedarburg infamous for this sweet shop with Amy's Gourmet Apples.  The shop is celebrating its 16th year and its contents change with the seasons.  They have won lots of acclaim in their existence as their gold seal attests.

' Their award winning caramel is hand made from premium quality natural ingredients as it contains no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and tastes just like mom and grandma used to make.  Every batch contains NO trans fats, artificial colors, mono and diglycerides or shelf retaining preservatives .'
  

Saturday afternoon I joined a store packed with customers deciding what delicacy to purchase.  It wasn't easy but how could I make a decision out of the multitude of choices?
They were in the process of creating a Turkey Caramel apple for this month...









I had to place my purchase in the car's back seat out of reach so there wasn't a large bite missing by the time it made it  back to the End of the Rainbow Valley...

You can see why, can't you? 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Memories are fading for some more than others...

An email arrived yesterday from the daughter asking me to find some particular photos from a past family trip.  I didn't quite go into panic mode but have to confess that there is more than one box of photos that haven't made it into albums... Oh dear. please don't let what she wants be in those!

The request came due to the fact that she is teaching Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" this quarter and thought her students would get a kick out of seeing Hannibal, Missouri when the story took place and where Becky Thatcher and Huck Finn lived in addition to that fence that Huck conned others into helping him paint...

That's my youngest, her brother Boo reenacting the painting up in the left corner and child actors Becky and Huck with Lori on the right...
Well I can imagine her classes'  delight as I found the desired photos taken in the album from 1992, twenty years ago making their teacher 10 years old. Notice the yellowing of the pages demanding another project of moving these pics onto an archival paper album... Sorry for digressing! Anyhow, I don't know where the time has gone! Do you? They grow up so fast. How did she even remember that I had these pics?

As the Chinese proverb says "Time flies like the arrow." 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Life's a guessing game... so come on guess.



Sometimes it's the unexpected that is so miraculous.
 I discovered this Wednesday about 8:30 am in Rice Lake.

What is it?


Any ideas?

Come on guess... I'll have a follow-up pic later today. 


A lot of great guesses and it almost could be a pic of my dry skin in mid January... but actually there was a cool in my initial comment on Facebook - soooo   cool!



This is how I found my windshield on Wednesday morning after a very hard frost parked by the motel. Thanks goodness for the scraper.  I guess it was a tad chilly for a car that has lived all of its winter nights in a garage.

I told you Mr. Winter was on its way!