Friday, April 18, 2014

Birding Weekend

Last year, while birding, we were discussing  collective nouns and how funny they are.  Especially when it comes to the animal kingdom/birds.
A Murder of Crows?
A Gaggle of Geese?
  A Hedge of Herons?
An Exaltation of Larks?

We got a kick out of them all.

So this year, our friend Jolina (fellow bird nerd extraordinaire!  and apparently an artist too)  made these shirts for us.  (T shirts with this drawing on them)
She drew the Quail.  
We see them in our backyards around here every day. 
We love them.
They are our backyard birds.  (even tho they are California Quail, we here in Northern Nevada claim them as our own)
And in this drawing she put collective nouns of some of our favorite birds.
Plus... a collective noun to describe us:
A Gamble of Nevadans. 

[oops!!  This just in from Jolina:]
Hey Debbie - our collective noun is "gambol of Nevadans" which I was worried that I'd misspelled it - but I had copied it from the book!!  But the definition of gambol is "to leap about playfully; frolic"
Yup, that's what we do. 

It is beautiful! 
We will treasure it always!

At one of the dinners on our birding weekend, a woman asked here she could buy our shirts.
Jolina won't sell them... but she could.

We LOVE our Quail bird nerd herd shirts!!!

And now, a few pictures from our birding weekend.
and then later, a recap on it . 

We saw  10,000 geese.
These are Ross's Geese.  
With a few Snow Geese mixed in.
On their way back to Canada.

The Sandhill Cranes are flying in.
This would be the "lesser' Sandhill Crane, because the 'greater' is not at the peak of their migration. 

Birding British Style!
Our tour guide, Duncan.
He served us tea (with milk) and toast with Marmite.  (he's a big I'm sure you can tell)

YES,  you can really find birds here.  Lots of them!!

And here too!

a familiar sight---every year on all my birding trips with these girls!

I almost forgot the Pintail!!  Duck that is.
Isn't he beautiful?   Photo taken by our friend Gina's husband, Mark.  
He has a great scope and camera lens.

That's my story!

I am 54 years old.  My husband is out of town for 2 weeks for work.   I live in a small town.

All facts.

Last night I ran home from work at 5, and dyed my hair.  A nice  medium reddish brown.  I have been meaning to do this for quite sometime (a couple of weeks) but just couldn't find the time---well, it was getting quite obvious that I was NOT a natural medium reddish brown (or sometimes a nice maple ), and again I am leaving town, so it was last night or never!

Church began at  7pm.  It was our Holy Thursday service (Or Maundy Thursday)--a service of shadows.  It was so beautiful!!  

It seems that while dying my hair, reddish brown,  a bit of dye got on my neck.  I didn't notice until I got out of the shower and was drying my hair.  Of course, by this time, it's too late---it was on there good.  It looked like a hickey.


I am 54 years old.  My husband is out of town.  I live in a small town.

And church friends think I have a hickey on my neck.


Really, tho, it's HAIR DYE!  

That's my story!  And I'm sticking to it!

And this afternoon, I'm on my way to visit the Handyman.  Hopefully, he'll believe me.  He can just look at my roots and compare the color.   ~grins~


Last night on my way to church, the clouds looked like this:
(I was in the same spot when I took these pics.  I just turned a bit to get the other mountain.  Weird how it can look so different)

After church, there was a glorious thunder and lightning storm, which I LOVE!!  We don't get them often.  It was 'heaven sent' 
I grabbed some Chinese take-out and went home and opened my back door, and just listened.   
So beautiful!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Friendship Tea-Russian Tea-Friday Friend Recipe #10 and #11

Ahhhhh....counting down!  Only 300 or so to go!

I think Beverages must be the slimmest category in the Friday Friend Cookbook. (click here to see what I'm up to with the FF recipes)   Not very many of my friends turned in a recipe for the Beverage chapter.  So, it's pretty funny that two of my best friends turned in the same one.  Kind of.
I say 'kind-of' because there is a slight difference in measurements and technique.
What are they you ask?

Well, let me tell you (I have to meander back a bit)--I actually made 3 different kinds of Russian Tea.  THREE!

See here...can you tell the difference?

The same goes for my friends---not much difference-- in Tomi Pingree and Debbie Engstrom.  Except---I live in the same town as Debbie.  Debbie and I have had coffee every Tuesday morning for years.  12 years to be exact.
I know that if Tomi and I lived in the same town now, we might be early morning friends it was, we were afternoon friends when we lived in the same town.
See?   Just a few different measurements and techniques!

Let me meander back to the tea.
Debbie has ground cloves in her's.   (the one in the middle)
Tomi does not.  (the one on the left)

Then I came across one that added a package of black cherry Kool-aide, so I added that to the one on the right.   And that's what I ended up taking a photo of---the reason it is so dark orange.  It wants to be black cherry color. 
They are all good---just like they are.  You could choose any and be okay.
If you want to add the Black Cherry Kool-aide, add it to Debbie's recipe.  That's what I did. Or  Tomi's.  Either way, it's okay.

Friendship Tea
My friend Debbie E. via the Friday Friend Cookbook

2 cups Tang
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened instant tea
1 pkg lemonade Kool-aide
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 t. cinnamon

Stir all together. Store in a sealed container.
To brew:  add 1 heaping T to 1 cup boiling water.

Russian Tea
My friend Tomi via the Friday Friend Cookbook

2 cups Tang
1 pkg (3oz) unsweetened lemonade
1 to 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup instant tea
1 t cinnamon

Mix all together.  Put 2 T into a cup of hot water.

And now.... I give you not 1, but 2 of my favorite friends!

Tomi and I met about 33 years ago, when we both lived in Elko, Nevada.  Neither one of us does now.  We plan to meet there one day for lunch tho.  This summer or the next!   
We had many suppers with our families.  Our kids were babies and toddlers and there were a lot of them.  Well, 6 seemed like a lot at the time. 
We would talk about housecleaning (weird, I know, since we both hate it---but we wanted the most efficient way to do it with 3 little kids each),  exercise  (we would get together to do--Richard Simmons!),  cooking  (I loved it, she didn't but some of my most favorite recipes are  things she made--go figure), and BOOKS!!   She is a bibliophile like me.   To this day, we still talk books with each other--We both just read  "This Dark Road to Mercy" by Wiley Cash--and then discussed it via email.
Love her and miss her----and we WILL meet in the middle to have lunch one day soon!!

Tomi and her little grandson William.
(I stole it from Facebook.  I am going to have to look thru old 35mm photos of ones of her. We haven't lived close since the invention of digital.  )

Debbie and I became next door neighbors  25 years ago.
We used to do afternoon tea.  For 3 years.  Then I moved away for 5 years. When I moved back we didn't live next door to each other any more, and we didn't see each other as often, so we decided to do coffee at  6am. Every Tuesday morning.  I LOVE Tuesday mornings.
Our children  have grown, graduated, got married, had their own children, and sadly  we've lost parents.  But there has always been, and we both believe there will always be a Tuesday morning and a coffee cup to talk all those things out.

Debbie E and her grandson Dane.

*** Love the circle of  life***
We used to be young.
We used to be in pictures like this with our children.
Now we hold our grandchildren.
We are lucky.
My Friday Friends and I.

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Monday

I have so much to say because I've been missing in action for a month, but for now I'm just going to do a  MONDAY post---then I'll catch up in another post. (to be honest it was hard to  know how to begin... It's like apologizing,  how to begin?)  BUT, for now,  what am I reading?

It's Monday,  What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  A fun place to pop into every Monday to see what is on everyone's reading list.
I find my best books from these people who participate!

I just (this morning with my coffee, in fact) finished "The Reading Promise" by Alice Ozma.

It was amazing for me because, it's a memoir about growing up, coming of age, and most of all, reading aloud with a child! While I've always loved the idea of bedtime stories...and sharing books with my own kids and grandchildren, Alice Ozma renewed my passion for this! I loved her stories about her relationship with her father and I loved the books they shared. I want to do a reading streak of my own! to work that into a streak when my grandchildren all live away? There must be a way.
 Great Book!

When I got to work this morning, I had a package waiting for me and in it was:
The Read-Aloud Handbook, 7th edition

I am in heaven!  I loved reading to my kids---and I love reading to my grandchildren.  I love reading aloud, and this book just reinforces how important it is.
Of course, I was seduced into reading aloud to my kids when I read Trelease's 2nd edition and saw him in person some years ago. 
I have bought every edition since.
This edition only received 5 stars on Goodreads!!

I've been reading about reading!

Nerd alert!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday Snapshot

Best Friends Ever!!!

(minus about 39 of them)

I love this photo.  
About 3 years ago, we tried a Friday Friend 'get-together'  and I was lucky because 11 out of about 50 of my closest friends from all over came to my birthday party.
From PA, AZ, CA, WA, OR, NV.
They didn't know each other....and yet...they did.
(That's how social media works!)
(That, and they all had/have  ME in common)

I am linking with  Melinda of West Metro Mommy Reads and her 

Friday, March 7, 2014

It's time for a....Summer-cation!

Sheila from Book Journey is hosting a Summer-Cation Blog Hop.

She says:
Happy Summer-Cation!  As I mentioned last weekend on the blog, I just need to do something SUNNY!  I decided to host a last minute “let’s talk about something shiny” (THE SUN!) event where others were and are invited to join me to post something about a summery event, a giveaway, summer plans, WHATEVER as long as no snow or cold is involved.
I repeat….
No Snow and NO Cold can be mentioned in your posts. :D

Oh man.  I cannot mention S--w   or  C--d, because those things are EXACTLY what we want to get away from.  I must hide my inner rebel who feels like shouting it out--just once.  It's like when someone tells me not to touch the hot plate,  I still have to feel it--just once.  But I will resist.  NO S--W will be mentioned here.......  this is all about the SUNSHINE.
One thing I love. LOVE. LOVE!    Is sunlight shining on water.  Lakes, ponds, rivers....with sunlight sparkling on the waves, ripples or smooth, glass like surfaces.    I LOVE IT.     Sunlight shining on water is one of my favorite things ever!
I love to hike in the mountains, on the beach, thru the woods and come upon sunlight on the water,  it's the most beautiful thing to me.  Throw in some spring wildflowers and MAN OH MAN.
Don't you just want to go NOW?    Let's go for a hike and check out this most beautiful WINTER (I did not mention  S--w or C--d) buster!    Come on, get your shoes on---we are going for a SUNNY hike.   Before I show you our (just pretend you are doing this sunny hike with me)  photos,  I want to tell you how you can win this coffee mug (coffee is good on early SUMMER mornings.  Good with a book while sitting on your patio after your early SUNNY hike):

It's the "Greatest First Lines Ever" mug. I love it and I want you to have one too!   All you have to do is make a comment on this blog post. ( I would love to be your friend on Goodreads too, but that is not a requirement),  just make a comment and I will randomly choose a winner to receive this wonderful 'literary'  mug.   My friend Sally thinks it would be a great challenge to read every book on this mug. What do you think?
Okay now... a collection where we are going to take our sunny hike to see "Sunlight on the Water"

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bookmark Monday

I have a collection of bookmarks, so I was excited to come across  "Bookmark Monday"  at Guiltless Reading. 

 Because really what else are you going to do with a collection of bookmarks? Except share!

My bookmark for Monday is a "Lewis and Clark" bookmark.  This is actually a scanned copy of mine.

My husband and I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where the Lewis and Clark trail is everywhere you turn. 
It's one of the most well known historical attractions in the area, spanning many states, beginning in Illinois and ending at the mouth of the Columbia River as it spills into the Pacific Ocean between Washington and Oregon.
We grew up knowing all about Lewis and Clark. So it saddened me  when I went back to Virginia a few years ago, and encountered someone on the plane, a local man (we were flying from Richmond to Atlanta), who had no idea about Lewis and Clark and their mapping of the Louisiana Purchase and search for the Northwest passage.  We were discussing with him what wonderful history Virginia had.  It was a nice visit, but it always makes me sad that the west gets no respect when it comes to the history of the United States.
I live in the west, but I LOVE every regional thing about all of the United States.   I would love to travel and experience every state, every town, every people!
This is the Lewis and Clark Trail

It's Monday and Good old dry Nevada

It is Monday and I'm reading....what I said I wanted to read in last week's First Chapter, First Paragraph,  Tuesday Intros.

I don't always do that, (read the book immediately) so that's been kind of was the book in my last post,  At Home in the World by Joyce Maynard.
It is amazing.  If you like memoirs.  And intellectual talk about books.
I do like all  those things, so am finding this read about Maynard's life fascinating. 

It's Monday,  What are you Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  A fun place to pop into every Monday to see what is on everyone's reading list.
I find my best books from these people who participate!

Speaking of Sheila from Book Journey, she is hosting a 
summer-cation, and I'm joining in!
It's a weekend blog hop  (this coming weekend) and I'm not really sure how it works, BUT I will be posting my summerloving summerdreaming, summerwishing blog post. And I'll have a give away.   And I'll be visiting all the other blogs who are having a SUMMER-CATION.  

I don't have snow like in the mid-west and back east, but we did drive home thru this yesterday:

There is no sunshine, this is no warm, summer scene.
This is much needed rain in California!
So, good for them, BUT scary to drive thru.
I was glad to see  good ol' dry Nevada.  (we don't have weather issues when it comes to driving--usually.)

So I will participate in the Summer-Cation this weekend.
I can't wait!
See you then.