Friday, January 22, 2016

FOTO FRIDAY: WEARING YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE

FOTO FRIDAY this week's shows Tin Soldier Boy ready for any of cupid's arrows as he is definitely wearing his heart on his sleeve. Neighbor dogs Buster and Tyson (alias Rat Boy) must know who got the Tin Soldier Boy ready for upcoming Valentine's Day but they're not talking.



So do you have any pics to share for any of the FOTO FRIDAYs?
Last week's was LUCKY BUCK

Thursday, January 21, 2016

WALKING PAPERS? RELIEF.

Walking papers? Well, not quite yet but the good news is the 90 year old patient we call Dad has been moved from the ICU neurology floor as his low blood count was not due to a concussion. 

Although he will still be on an ICU floor, a mid afternoon GI scope and physician diagnosed the pain, nausea, fogginess and dizziness due to numerous small ulcers in his small intestine. All this can be treated with meds which will attend to those symptoms and blood loss. 

The ortho doc still needs to rule in on the immobility of his arm from his fall... probably some physical therapy.

The patient might not be happy with a liquid diet for right now but is certainly relieved with the prognosis. 

Whew, we all are relieved a source has been found. We all will sleep better tonight knowing that walking papers will be arriving.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

PROCESSING...

Sometimes honesty is the best policy. I've actually needed time to process what we saw and heard at the Martin Luther King Day celebration at Viterbo University in La Crosse Monday evening. The awkward program lacked a cohesive thread to explain its parts to its mostly white Midwestern audience. 

A variety of music genres by Viterbo's Concert Choir included 2  hip hop songs with I.M.P.A.C.T.'s hip hop and R&B artist Mario Street asking for audience participation. Wrong crowd. The choir for the most part looked really uncomfortable, not really feeling this genre of music. It would have been great to have the lyrics projected for us all to read as from the audience faces we were clueless as to the music's message.
Florence B. Price
 Pianist Aaron Matthew treated us to a moving symphonic piece by the first African American woman composer, Florence Price and there was also a Negro spiritual I Don't Feel No Ways-Tired sung in operatic interpretation(?) by Viterbo's Diana Cataldi. 
(I don't know about you but I say leave a spiritual in its original form.)

Yes, we all were there to give homage to Martin Luther King, Jr.  and his inspiration for the Civil Rights movement and the many others who wanted equality including the NAACP, Freedom Riders, Malcolm X and Black Panthers. We are all beneficiaries of the identity politics movements in forming all the other movements for women, gender equality, immigrants, all of which have their roots in the Civil Rights Movement and its demand for civic equality through voting, education, employment, housing... all of whose progress is today once again being threatened.

The night's program was a menagerie of words with greetings by Viterbo University's president, Richard Artman, an invocation  by Pastor Smith, Jr. from Bountiful Harvest of Faith Church, UW-L's Senior Multicultural Advisor Mistress of Ceremonies Bethany Brent and the MLK Leadership Award winner Tony Yang.

Sheyann Webb-Christburg
The highlight of the evening was our guest speaker Sheyann Webb-Christburg known as the 'youngest' Freedom Fighter in1965's Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama who shared her past and hopes with us. She repeated the story she has told 100's of times of how the great leader Martin Luther King changed her life.


Bloody Sunday's youngest activist  Sheyann


Ms Webb-Christburg first  met Dr. King as a seven year old with her friend Rachel as they were playing outside the Brown Chapel A.M.E church where King's entourage had parked for an organizational meeting.  As he noticed the young girls, he approached them, introduced himself and engaged them in conversation asking first typical adult questions about their names, ages and where they lived. They pointed towards the projects. King then asked them the well known Civil Rights questions "What do you want? " He coaxed them to respond: "Freedom." Then he added, "When do you want it?" The girls responded "Now." He had 2 new followers as King invited the 2 into the church for the meeting, even going out of his way to get them chairs before getting his own. They learned a lot about inequality first hand listening to King's words. When her parents discovered where she had been, they voiced their concern for her safety and forbade her from participating in any more right to vote meetings for the black community. Sheyann disobeyed her parents's wishes and would sneak out whenever Dr. King was back in town to hear him speak. She knew at an early age she didn't want to be a second class citizen. 

Before the Bloody Sunday March, she even wrote her own obit in case she didn't survive.  She vowed and has continued to share the memories of that day ... marchers on their knees praying on the bridge before becoming victims of the police atrocities of releasing dogs on the protesters/ the use of tear gas and fire hoses, police horse riders wielding clubs, angry whites yelling racial slurs and the blood shed will always be an indelible memory.  

Ms Webb-Christburg considers her speaking engagements and the movie she co-wrote with her childhood friend Rachel  "Selma, Lord, Selma" as part of her repayment to MLK for raising her consciousness and motivating her to be the best that she could be, to make a difference through activism.

Yes, "the road is not easy and we have come so far." As we are all feeling now there is still a lot of road in front of us...  

I DON'T FEEL NO WAYS TIRED ( the way it should be sung)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

BUSTED...

Today's entry was going to be about our city's MLK program last night with guest speaker Sheyanne Webb-Christburg donned the youngest Civil Rights marcher in Selma in 1965. BUT that entry will just have to wait as something else has superseded it. Do check back tomorrow for that story.

What could be more pressing? Well, it has to do with this man with his hands raised in the photo below. 



This guy was busted. Actually, the security guard on the left is a life like sculpture in the bank, the fellow next to him happens to be my 90 year old Dad. 

My Dad who is one of those people who is right about 98% of the time. Yep one of those. It was the 2% that got him "busted." You see, he's been keeping secrets from his 3 children. 

An intelligent, independent, strong guy who has insisted on staying in the family home alone. Well, truth be known, he has been falling and not telling us about these falls. Last week must have been a doozy as I could hear something in his voice during a phone conversation.

I called him on it and asked how he had slept the night before. "Not so good," he cautiously replied. "Why is that?" I inquired. "Oh, I couldn't sleep worrying about the cruise." Partial truth. 

The truth is his detailed planning of his first trip in 3 years (due to Mom's declining health) had filled 48 hours until it was paid for and in place. He was really excited with anticipation of the March Caribbean journey.  As we discovered much later he was worrying whether this trip was even going to be possible as the part he left out about the worrying is, he had fallen. We, his kids, would not know about the fall from him only to find out through an informant coincidence. We kids conferenced called and decided to confront Dad individually about the importance of keeping us 'informed'. 

We felt better when he did report indigestion issues this weekend with details of how exhausted and dizzy he was. I emphasized liquids so he didn't get dehydrated. Then, my brother who lives in town received a 'help' call Sunday as Dad was too weak and dizzy to get up. He had had another sleepless night with bathroom visits. My brother was there within 10 minutes filling him with liquids and cooking him his favorite waffle breakfast with instructions to rest, regain his strength and call his physician.

Dad agreed and went to see his Doctor yesterday as he wanted a full checkup to figure out what was happening.  His doctor did not allow him to go home as he wished.  Orders were to head straight to the ER due to the severity of the bruising, a transfusion was ordered, IV and brain and neck scan for a possible concussion. The man had been driving after his fall! Double OY. 

The patient is now being kept in the hospital for observation for a couple days. By nine last night he still didn't have a bed. Time and tests and a good 2 weeks of home bed rest. I don't think he will protest too much.  Now, having a care giver will be an entire different story...

Monday, January 18, 2016

WEDDING WORLD

After yesterday there's no denying one industry is definitely not failing, in fact, if yesterday's attendance at La Crosse's Convention Center is any market indicator, this 'business' is booming.


The cold weather (-20) did not keep the throngs of Brides to be, their Moms, friends and not so 'many' fiances to Wedding World sponsored by my favorite local radio station Z 93.3

 I was a bit surprised to see some older, camouflaged burly guys parking alongside me in the ramp and heading the same direction. It turns out a gun show was also being held in the Center. I had to laugh as all I could envision were shot gun weddings/ if things don't work out... Sorry, maybe this was the perfect pairing. Come on honey, you can go to the gun show after we go to Wedding expo.

Anyhow, last week was really the annual biggest Wedding Expo but this Sunday worked out better for me and all wedding aspects would still be present. I wanted to be part of the hoopla since I am miles away from my own bride-to-be daughter. 106 days and counting...
Vendors representing limo services, venues like hall rentals/ barns (we do live in Wisconsin)  caterers, floral shops, spa and 

and beauty services, dj's, bakeries, dress and tux shops, photographers and photo booths and even a cooking school were present. You wouldn't want to forget anything. But wait, did I miss the dance studio lessons?

The biggest lines with hundreds waiting were for food sampling. Specifically cake tasting.There were some gorgeous cakes. Isn't presentation worth every penny? 

 Let them have cake and eat it too.
 Just this very morning CBS had a piece re:cake decorating and how gilding cakes is 'really' in.  There were beautiful tiered cupcakes and truffles and even photograph cookies... I don't know if I'd want folks eating the bride and groom.


We'll probably be receiving calls from every vendor as I filled out as many raffles as possible. I have warned Natureman to not hang up on any sales calls because we might have won the all expense paid honeymoon to Costa Rica. (Sorry Lori, you've already been there. )

If all the chaos was too much/ this was driving one to drink for $3.50 you could purchase a Mimosa. Are you kidding? Aren't we all watching our calories so we can fit in our wedding garb?
 I opted not to stay for the fashion show as thank goodness we all have our dresses now. 

Yep, this wedding industry is one SUPER big business BUT you know what was missing at Wedding World? Did the planners forget something??????

There were no credit unions/ banks to help all these families figure out the best way to pay for this 'one' day big party. Nobody to suggest the selling of the first born to pay for all this. BUT if they had, I guess I wouldn't have been here since my daughter would have had another family... 



Friday, January 15, 2016

FOTO FRIDAY: LUCKY BUCK

FOTO FRIDAY this week is of the new main man in the lives of our girls Jacqueline and Mancha. OK I'll admit it, the girls have been shacking up with Lucky Buck (my nickname for the guy). We won't mention that this fella is a bit vertically challenged BUT he is about half their size. Just sayin'.

You see the girls have been visiting, heck, staying over with their beau next door since November and if the little guy made his move, there should be some new kids running around here in the late spring/ early summer. 


Lucky Buck is the good looking little fellow to the far left.

Do you want to share any lucky in love stories?

Check out last week's FOTO FRIDAY in case you missed it.
Wrong turn, Right Place

Thursday, January 14, 2016

FINI... ALL GONE

With the arctic temps making being outside like living in a freezer, a nice hot soup soup like Pozole Verde sounded 'perfecto' for a winter evening meal. It's a hearty soup with a bit of a kick which you can kick up /down.


Tomatillo in front of kitchen window before moving inside
The verde/ green part of the soup is tomatillos that have been been blended with the herbs and onion. In fact, you may remember I had moved our first successful tomatillo plant inside with the first frost as it was far from done bearing fruit. The tomatillos with their paper like husks had started falling off and were awaiting being made into a salsa/something. It turned out there was just enough fruit to make into a nice big pot of chicken pozole.


Ours were not large in size but one pound was all that was  needed for blending
Besides the fresh tomatillos, home grown herbs of cuban oregano, garlic (thanks to the neighbor) from our freezer wh had poblanos, cilantro, chicken stock and local organic chicken breasts. So all we lacked was the hominy (white corn), radishes and limes which were easy to obtain on a trip into town earlier in the day. 

The soup had just the right amount of heat to warm our cold bones. The side addition of radish is a must but many add avocado, sour cream, chopped onion depending on your personal preferences.

I 've included last night's recipe below although I may have just posted something similar on FB before. I couldn't find it among my blog entries. 

Anyhow, I crave this dish anytime of the year. ENJOY.

Here's Anya von Bremzen's version from Food & Wine
INGREDIENTS
  • 7 c chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 c water
  • 4 chicken breast halves on the bone, with skin
  • 1 lb tomatillos, husked and halved
  • 1 sm onion, quartered
  • 2 poblano chiles—cored, seeded and quartered
  • 2 jalapeƱos, seeded and quartered
  • 4 lg garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 T oregano leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 3 15-ounce cans of hominy, drained
  • Finely shredded  lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped onion, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges, for serving
INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Chicken & Broth 1.In large, enameled cast-iron casserole,bring chicken stock and water  to a boil. 2.Add chicken,skin side down,cover and simmer over very low heat until    tender and cooked (about 25 minutes)3.Transfer chicken to plate and shred; discard bones and skin. 4.Skim fat from cooking liquid and reserve. 

  2. Tomatillo Puree1.In blender, combine halved tomatillos with onion, poblanos and jalapeƱos, smashed garlic, cilantro and oregano. Pulse until coarsely chopped.2. With machine on, add 1 c of cooking liquid, puree until smooth.3.Season puree with salt and pepper. 
  3. 4.In large deep skillet, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Add  tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce turns a deep green, about 12 minutes. 
  4. 5.Pour green sauce into the cooking liquid in the casserole. 6.Add  hominy and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. 7.Add shredded chicken to stew, season with salt and pepper.8. Cook just until heated through. 
    Serve pozole in deep bowls, passing the lettuce, radishes, onion, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges at the table. 

*MAKE AHEAD

The pozole verde can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated, covered, overnight.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WHO BLINKED FIRST?

                                                                                                     From December through the winter months eagle sightings are common place as these majestic birds are more obvious on the deciduous tree branches/ on the frozen Mississippi back waters where they share fishing with the ice fishermen.

No matter how often I see bald eagles, they never cease to mesmerize me whether they're just sitting in a nearby tree scouting the area for food/ soaring above me at home in the End of the Rainbow Valley or driving into 'town'. 

Yesterday I sighted this eagle hanging out next to the road all 'puffed up' against the cold. We basically looked like twins with my layers of winter garb protecting me from the '0' degree high day. I pulled over and just watched him from within the car.  When it was apparent he wasn't flying off right away, his attention focused on me. It was a 'staredown.' You know, what we used to call one of those Kodak moments. Dang and my camera was on the backseat, out of my grasp. This meant I had to get out of my recently warmed up car if I was going to try and take his photo. I had to pull off my mittens (Grrr.... of all days to have worn mittens instead of gloves.) I would need to snap the shot quickly once I grabbed the camera. I locked in his stare, challenging his curiosity as I carefully opened the driver's door slowly and edged backwards, keeping him in my sight while I opened the back door. He wasn't moving. I fumbled with one hand inside my purse grabbing the cold camera. Double dang, I had left my purse in the car overnight and the camera was really cold. Anyhow I wouldn't take the time to zoom in for the first shot. Shot number one. He didn't take flight.

Stare down time... Who would win?
Then as if saying "that pic made my neck look fat, here's my better side," he turned his head, waited for me to zoom in a bit. Click. Got him. He wasn't moving but I had to get moving. It was COLD.


So I get to share with you another one of the many perks of living here in one of the most beautiful regions in the U.S. Even if winter is colder than this Southern gal would like, nothing beats Life in the End of the Rainbow Valley.

By the way, I blinked first.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

THE EX...

When weather makes one homebound and you are sick of doing projects/ reading, it's great to have some movies on hand. You know, no commercials. The free year subscription with Amazon Primetime has run out but the End of the Rainbow Valley is still receiving Netflix.

Sci Fi is normally not my movie genre but I did include one such flick in our recently updated Netflix dwindling movie cue. A FB article had a list of 'must see' movies and it looked intriguing.


I am no film critic but I wasn't steered incorrectly in this choice of Ex Machina.  A leading internet company's coder, Caleb, is the winning contestant  of a week long visit to his reclusive CEO's home in a remote area in Alaska. What Caleb doesn't realize until he arrives is he will participate in evaluating the A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) of his boss's newest project, a gorgeous robot prototype. What ensues is, wait, I can't tell you. You'll just have to put this one on your list of movies to see... One just never knows when one will become the Ex.
Let me know what you think,  you won't be disappointed.
 (R-rating) ROTTEN TOMATOES gave it 4.5/5 stars, I concur.

Monday, January 11, 2016

DEVIATING FROM THE NORM

Everyone's taking off for warmer climates and who can blame them when our high Sunday was 0?  During the day we were in the negatives -8 mid morning and it looks like Monday is starting off just as cold.  Winter has arrived.

The Snowbirds (and I am speaking people) with second homes have long since departed for either Florida/Arizona. Other smart folks are departing during January for south of the border to Central/South America or across the seas to Southeast Asia. 

SOooooo when I asked Natureman if we could deviate from our usual Friday night Sabbath dinner at home and instead go to the Legion for a fish fry and some music, (a friend had invited us to come listen to him play), there was some some hesitation.  I quipped,  "I'm only asking to go to the Legion, not South America." We both started laughing. Natureman  made an exception and off we went.

I must admit Natureman 'loves him' some fried fish. Dinner would wait a bit as we had some popular 70's music to listen to by Dillon, Gordon Lightfoot, Eric Clapton, etc... played for us by the dynamic duo "Contraband" in the Legion's bar area.  

Contraband  ( buddy David on the right )

After listening to most of a set, we headed for the dining hall and ordered our yummy dinners.
Not quite the warmth of heading South for the winter but what can beat the warmth of an evening of fried food, music and visiting? Sometimes a little deviation from the norm is not all bad.


Friday, January 8, 2016

FOTO FRIDAY: WRONG TURN, RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME

FOTO FRIDAY this week is about making a wrong turn and ending up in the right place at the right time. Since it was about lunchtime and we were in downtown Minneapolis it made sense to stop for some food before hitting the highway home. After parking, we walked left instead of right. Doing so we were witnesses to one of the many takes of a youtube video being shot underneath the bridge. 


video

Do you have an experience to share as a result of a wrong turn?

Last week's FOTO FRIDAY was NEW YEAR'S ACTIVITIES

Thursday, January 7, 2016

ROAD TRIP WITH A QUEST

Well since I've been back in the midwest an entire week and as long as I am cold, I might as well head somewhere where it's usually a lot colder.  Where else but the Twin Cities? OK, you know I really wasn't going there for the weather.

This road trip was a quest for the perfect dress for the Mother of the Bride, yours truly. For those of you who have been the Mother of the Bride/Groom you know what this endeavor entails. This would not be easy as I didn't want the 'traditional' Mother of the Bride look. Imagine that.

Girlfriend JoEllen had offered for me to join her on one of her sojourns to the Cities as she knew the perfect place for me to start this dress search. And since we share common likes, I had the  "perfect" person to be with to go shopping.  BUT the search couldn't begin until we attended to 2 very important things.

First, a brief but important stop for my buddy to shower her 2 "perfect" grands  and daughter with some love before we headed over to the upscale mall in Edina called the Galleria.

Secondly, a stop to get some sustenance. A gal has to have something in her stomach to have energy for shopping and trying on clothes. So we enjoyed a "perfect" late lunch at the Good Earth when we both had a tasty homemade soup and 1/2 a sandwich. 

OK now we were ready to begin.

My partner in crime had found her M.O.B dress at a boutique called DUGO.  There definitely was a decent selection of formal attire and I actually found two long dress possibilities. One was definitely more me. Translated: more Bohemian and flowing than the other a very classy black number. The salesperson thought I should try on more classic possibilities. Boy, did she have me pegged wrong... 

Any'hoo' after trying on some 9 dresses, I was pooped. This wedding shopping is difficult business. I texted the two top choices to my daughter, The Bride, who vetoed both. I guess they weren't "perfect" for me in her eyes. Oh well.. C'est la vie. Guess I saved a lot of money today. 

For a first serious endeavor I don't feel I got skunked even if I wasn't going home with the "perfect" dress. Hey, I got to spend time with a friend and go on a road trip.  Besides I've got 4 months to find something to wear. Dang, only FOUR months! Wish me luck. I think this body is going to need it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

LEAGUE of DENIAL

$5 Tuesdays at the movies brought the disturbing true story of 'Concussion' damage of our country's beloved sport of professional football back to the End of the Rainbow Valley.  It was one of those movies that you just have to discuss due its implication in the lives of so many who not only play the sport and their families but yes, unfortunately also for its fans. This 'business' of football has kept all of us purposefully deceived. 
Will Smith portrays Dr. Bennet Omalu in the film Concussion
Dr. Bennet Omalu*
Natureman had mentioned seeing a 2013 documentary on  FRONTLINE. He said there was more to the story.  So we 'googled' it and it dealt with the very issue of concussions and the death and biopsy of Steelers center Mike Webster by a well educated Nigerian born neuropathologist Bennet Omalu. Confusion and depression had reigned in Webster's later years and his premature death at 50 years old made the pathologist suspicious. Webster's body  appeared much older than his chronological age. The Doctor insisted on a biopsy of Webster's brain which showed no sign of diagnosed Alzheimer's. What he discovered was brain injury from head trauma.

Throughout the years the NFL had compiled various panels of their 'own' unqualified physicians who continued to deny and delay the true correlation of  continuous head trauma to cognitive disability and early dementia.  They disputed Omalu's brain injury named Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). 
BU's Dr. Ann McKee*
Further CTE research by Boston University's Dr. Ann McKee continued the studies of deceased football player brains. Alarmingly she not only discovered CTE in over 90% of its victims but also in much younger brains as a 25 year old's death exemplified.
 Chris Nowinski, the Brain Chaser*

McKee also testified before the NFL. Her research had been aided by a retired Harvard football player/wrestler, Christopher Nowinskiauthor of Head Games, who had been suffering 5 years of migraines. The Brain Chaser as he became known took it upon himself to contact deceased players families to donate their brains for research.

The dirty secret of the true findings has both physical and moral implications for all of us. Although the NFL goes through the motion of panels and donating to McKee's CTE research, it continues to prolong denying its high correlation to the trauma received.

IF parents really know the risks of the hits their children would endure playing the dangerous sport of football, would they still encourage and let their children play? 

I know in our household Natureman was very unpopular not allowing his children to play the sport in high school. Thank goodness is all I can say. The glory and violence of this sport and other contact sports is just not worth anybody's life. 

The movie 'Concussion' has an important message and whether we will listen remains the question... 

*photos all courtesy of the web

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NEW TOY FOR THE MISSUS

Don't get all excited thinking I got a iRobot Ro-mba or something similar to help with household chores. (Altho' my nephew was supposed to hook me up with one during his recent internship.)  

Nope, I got something totally unrelated. Drum roll please... a new jewelry accessory and NOT a new charm for my Pandora bracelet but the FitBit Flex Activity & Sleep wristband in red, no less.  

It even accompanied me on my unexpected trip home as I figured someone could help me set it up there. AND sure enough, I did get the needed tech help. I thought I'd get into the habit of wearing it.

Even though I didn't make it to Jazzercise during this visit home, thank goodness I had the opportunity to hoof it at a near by church with its own track. After two miles the FLEX band started vibrating and flashing. Had I won the lottery? NO. But when the wearer hits 10,000 steps, the suggested daily requirement, the wrist band lets the wearer know they've hit their daily step quota. Kewl.

Mine is the basic model without all the 'bells and whistles' info on the band, just the lights. I have no clue how this technology works but the wrist band is synced with my phone so I can check there to see how many calories have been burned, miles walked, walk's duration  in addition to recording exercise. You can fill in your diet but I'll skip that part. It not only tells how long one has slept but also how many times one has awoken/ was restless during the night. Cool, huh? /TMI?

You can even buy a set of bands in glorious colors. Anything to keep the wearer interested, right? 

No matter what, I know I'm starting off 2016 trying to get off the couch more often as the midwestern wintertime makes me want to hibernate. I could just sit, read and veg watching HGTV. Anything to not have to go outside. 

I didn't make a resolution to lose weight, just to be more active this winter. We'll see how long a vibration on the wrist will keep me motivated. It can't hurt.

Monday, January 4, 2016

SORRY, I CAN'T TALK NOW

How could anybody, I mean anybody telephone on Sunday evening, January 3rd? I mean, seriously? And I am not talking because the Packers were playing the Vikings. 

It was the much anticipated beginning episode of season 6 of the most popular mini series Downton Abbey, my standing date night with Natureman. I don't care if it was halftime for the Packer/Viking game, Natureman would just have to call the caller back.


For weeks Wisconsin Public TV has offered an intensive review of the previous 5 seasons and prepping for the show as it enters 1925. If one could not wait with the rest of its followers and already watched the British showing dates lucky you but the rest of us have been waiting with bated breath as we will learn the fate of all Downton Abbey's characters regardless of class and their beloved estate.

At a million dollars an episode they is a lot to observe preWWI all written by one author, an unheard of phenomena in a mini series placed in an amazing setting, rich dialogue with wonderful one liners and mini plots that develop its well costumed characters oozing with gender roles regardless of social standing.  

I will not reveal any spoilers in case you may have missed last night's showing.  One could 'google' those. I personally did the unconscionable, I dozed off.  For once Natureman didn't wake me asking if I was asleep. Can you believe it? Of all times. However long the catnap, I seemed to have caught everything according to my date's recap. Whew. 

BUT I will be one of those watching this episode again and it'll be worth it just to rewatch the highlight of the first episode Season 6, the sex talk and Carson turning a couple shades of red... 

Anyhow as a reminder, Downton Abbey starts at 8pm (C.S.T.) next Sunday night, so please don't call. Thanks. :)


Friday, January 1, 2016

FOTO FRIDAY: NEW YEAR'S ACTIVITIES

FOTO FRIDAY lands this year on New Year's Day 2016. We celebrated a rather quiet New Year's Eve as I had an 48.50 hour  delay returning to the End of the Rainbow Valley. No need to relive the airport issues but super glad to be home with my Natureman for New Year's.

We celebrated just the two of us with appetizers of smoked fish, cheese and crackers along with our first toast of the bubbly. A simple delicious New Year's Eve dinner of grilled T bone steaks, fingerling potatoes and broiled asparagus in a balsamic vinegar with more bubbly after which we watched an action movie "Bank Job." Then, it was time a N.Y.C. Times Square countdown (at 11 C.S.T.) followed by our local TV broadcasting of Granddad Bluffs fireworks at midnight and a final toast to 2016. We still didn't finish the entire bottle of bubbly.
Previous years we had a game group New Year's Eve gathering and I have missed our annual game night celebration. Midnight certainly seemed to come a lot quicker then. Maybe we can reinstate this tradition next year, health and weather permitting as our game buddies are definitely missed.  Maybe that could be one of my resolutions. :)

How bout you? Do you have New Year's Day/Eve traditions? 
Don't be shy, do share.

Last week's FOTO FRIDAY: GAME ON