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 fan...as 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.

(sigh)

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

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

Great.

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 too...as 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! Now...how 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!!

My Big Backyard (outdoor Wednesday)

Because I'm a nerd, I want to see how my backyard changes throughout the year. So! I'm going to take a few pictures of...