Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Squirrel and a Bird.

Yesterday I took a photograph of this little guy, and asked him nicely if he would please leave some seed for the birds. He very kindly listened to me because this morning......when I looked outside I saw several birds but they all flew off when I moved the curtain. I did take a few shots. Unfortunately they were all blurry except this one.

Color me happy that I got at least one reasonably decent shot of this little House Finch. It is rainy here in Northern Virginia and cold, 39 deg. F. It could be colder I suppose but I am happy I am inside wrapped up in Mrs. Brown's blanket, coffee on the end table and blogging away to my heart's content.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I will always be grateful to the creator of TODAY'S FLOWERS - Luiz Santilli Jr. - and also to Santilli and Denise BC who now manage this superb meme. You can find other flowers from everywhere imaginable, and also join in by showing your own when you click on the icon above.
Still on the Thanksgiving theme of my posts, these flowers were bought for the nice people who invited us to spend Thanksgiving Day with them, our future daughter-in-law's parents. Her mother received the flowers and her father a bottle of wine. I didn't think they would mind if I took photos of them before we left the house. They seemed to be begging for me to get my camera out of its bag.

Dilly Alert!

I'm feeling a real dilly. I was trying to organize my blogging friends list when I managed to get rid of every one of them without realizing what I was doing. I am silently kicking myself. I will slowly get them back as I know you're all out there and I will see you on my traveling here and there, but it might take a while. Hopefully not too long but at least I have made a start and the list is gradually growing again.

Gregg and I went out for breakfast today and ordered an egg, cheese and bacon bagel at Manhattan Bagel up at our local shopping centre. It's a nice cosy place and the people in there are friendly. When we arrived it was quiet but by the time we left the place was packed.

Next stop was at the Office Depot to buy one of those laptop computer bags on wheels, with enough extra space for one day's worth of clothing, that was my aim anyhow. There was a larger bag but I didn't want that as I knew I would try and stuff it to the gills and I want to travel light. I tried out at least half a dozen, walking up and down the aisle with the handles extended. It was my day for not only being a dilly in my head but looking like one too, but I am looking for comfort when moving from one place to another, so I walked up and down, up and down, with bags of various sizes, trying to avoid tripping other shoppers as I swung around corners. That handle is too big, that handle is too short, don't like the look of that one, wrong color, don't like things with brand names glaring at me, this one wiggles when I walk until finally, that one is just right. Goldilocks didn't have anything on me. Finally picked one that I am happy with.

Off to the supermarket next to pick up a few supplies. Gully and Celia are traveling up north and will be stopping by on Monday to spend the night.

Now we're back home and I am on the computer and Gregg is watching a football game. I feel drawn to the kitchen but as my last day at work was Thursday gone, and I won't be going back until the New Year, I don't need to bake anything like I usually do. Before I left last week I did bake almost 30 quiches, most of which will be put in the freezer to be taken out when needed. The staff were under strict orders from the owner not to have any for lunch until I get back. So, even though my mind and body is being drawn to the kitchen, I am sitting on my tushy blogging instead. I am feeling a bit chilled after shopping. I think a hot chocolate is next.

Thanksgiving at Lisa's House

A few photos from our time at our future daughter-in-law's parents' house. They were all taken by either Brad or Lisa. When we arrived we went down to the basement room to hang out until dinner time. Here is Gregg and Lisa's Dad.

This little guy is Lisa's nephew.
And here he is again with his sister. They spent a long time crayoning.

Nephew is now watching The Blue Planet video.
Lisa and Gregg.
We have moved upstairs now and she is joined by our son Brad.
This nice young couple is Lisa's brother and girlfriend. They were very sweet, probably would go aghhh at that remark, but they truly were. That's part of Brad's head.
Son again.
Left to right: me, Gregg, Lisa's Dad with brother and girlfriend again.
And here is that darling nephew at the dinner table. What a smile!
Lisa with her Mom getting dessert for everyone.
Her sister-in-law with Lisa's Mom and Dad getting everything ready.
Our Thanksgiving Day meal.

Thank you to Lisa and her family for giving us a wonderful Thanksgiving. Good company, good food, what more could one ask for? Thank you Brad for giving me these photographs and my dear son, you are marrying into a very loving, caring family. What more precious gift could any parent ask for their son?

Friday, November 28, 2008

One Dish Chicken and Rice Bake

I am trying to use most of the ingredients in my cupboards and freezer before we leave on our holiday. I have some Campbell’s Soups and I have forgotten when I bought them, No they haven't been in there for a decade but long enough for me to get the old recipe file out to see what soup recipes I can find. I came up with this one and it is pretty simple and quite tasty. Hubs gave it the thumbs up and I was happy he enjoyed it. I did too. On top of that he has discovered after all these years that he enjoys Brussels Sprouts. I always have but whenever I have tried them on hubs he has been less than enthusiastic. I think the fact that I added a little butter was a big plus. I bought fresh sprouts on my last grocery run and served them tonight as the side dish, with a dab of butter of course.

One Dish Chicken and Rice Bake

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain rice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

In a 2-quart shallow baking dish mix soup, water, rice, paprika and pepper. Place chicken on rice mixture. Sprinkle with additional paprika and pepper. Cover. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until done.

Serves 4

Opinion with added notes: We both enjoyed dinner tonight and we have left-over’s for another meal to eat during the weekend. I had a much larger casserole dish than suggested in the recipe and as I didn’t want it all to dry out during cooking, I doubled up on everything except the chicken breasts. I used the one can of Cream of Mushroom called for and added one can of Cream of Celery. To the rice mixture I also added dehydrated chopped onions thanks to Celia who added them to her Fried Cornbread a little while ago, garlic powder and to finish off before putting it in the oven I sprinkled the chicken with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and Pepper, along with the Paprika, and also a little more garlic powder. One of those meals that most of us have come across before, and a definite keeper for a fast, no fuss dinner.

Dancing Seagull

Everything in the universe has rhythm.
Everything dances.
~Maya Angelou~

One Day After Thanksgiving

The squirrels are still kings of the castle on our back deck and apart from one brave Blue Jay who swooped down to take a kernel of corn up into a tree, I haven't seen any other birds yet. This photo of a Male Cardinal was taken a few years back. I have decided to set up my camera for any other potential candidates of the feathered kind. I am living in hope that the squirrels will fill their tummies and get out of Dodge, at least for a little while! Don't get me wrong, I still love the sweet darlings but I am anxious to see what winter birds will stop by. Yes I know, I could be waiting a long time but I always live in hope.

We had a great day over at Lisa's house. For those of you who don't know yet, she is our son's fiance and her parents asked us to spend the day with them. I didn't take any photos but Son-One-And-Only is his mother's child and took many. I will share a few later on when I get them.

Thanksgiving Gatherers: Lisa's Mom and Dad, Lisa, her older brother and his wife and their two adorable toddlers, her younger brother and his girlfriend, Gregg, Brad and me. The meal was delicious, turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, wonderful gravy, yams and apples with that yummy marshmallow topping, roasted green beans with pine nuts, pickled cucumbers that Lisa had brined with hot peppers from her uncle's garden, brought back from their last trip to Minnesota to join the cast of characters on the Thanksgiving Table. I think I may have missed a few things but most definitely not the Pumpkin Pie Lisa's sister-in-law had made from scratch. She described that the hardest part was breaking open the pumpkin. I told her all her hard work had paid off as her pie was delicious and a fitting end to a superb meal. We spent a few hours afterward chatting and getting to know one another a little more, enjoying each other's conversation. It was fun watching the children play, they were so good and a delightful part of the day. Hours passed quickly when we realized that it was time to go home. And that's how we spent our Thanksgiving.

I hope all your Thanksgivings were special ones. One of my favorite things to do on Friday is to check out all the photographs of those participating in SkyWatch Friday. One such person was the host of Body Soul and Spirit. You can find her blog here. After enjoying SWF photos I read of a story about another post at Mountain Musings which you can find here. I wanted to share it with you as it really does show what this very special day is all about.

SkyWatch Friday

I look forward to Fridays for so many reasons. One of them is that I know it is time for SkyWatch Friday. SWF was originally Dot’s idea and is now managed by The Sky Watch Team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise. My thanks to all of you.

If you would like to join in and post your own photos, or just want to look at incredible sky pictures from all over the world, please visit their site by clicking on icon above.

Birds on a wire seen on Sudley Road in Manassas, Virginia.

This is a small shopping strip that I pass by on my way to work.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Squirrel Thanksgiving

Well, I think by now you are realizing that I am positively dotty over squirrels. I just adore them. Yesterday when we were out shopping we bought bird seed and dried cobs of corn. The birds haven't gotten a look-in yet. I was hoping - silly me - that with the corn on the deck, the squirrels would leave the birdfeed alone. I was in denial of course.

On top of all those photos I took this one minute video.

Okay guys, it's time for the birds now, and it's time for us to start getting ready to go over to Lisa's house.

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there celebrating today, and to those who aren't, have an equally wonderful day.