Thursday, August 31, 2017

Why do I?

Why do I think that I can go away for a quick weekend trip and read 8 books?!
I am exaggerating a bit, but 5 books is not an exaggeration. I often take 5.
This time I am only taking 3.  
And my Kindle.
And my phone with my audible app.
And my current read--which I will finish on the way up there.
And a new cooking magazine.

I'll be okay.
I have 4 hours of 'light' this evening as we head up.
(4 hours of dark)
and 8 hours of light on the way back.

But tell me why? Why do I feel more comfortable with a tote full of books in the backseat?

Maybe I'm crazy!?
Maybe not.

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril; or RIP XII

I've enjoyed participating in this bookish event for the past couple of years--so I'm joining up again.

I love fall and all things autumn as well as that tad bit of creepiness that comes along this time of year, so I thought--why not join in for my 3rd year in the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI challenge?   RIP!
Even tho, the horror genre is usually not my thing (although in the past couple of years I've become fonder of them), I'm sure I can find a book or two  to fit in.

What is RIP?

This is from Andi of Estella's Revenge and  Heather of
(be sure and check out their websites for a complete rundown and explanation of levels, etc)

Every September 1 through October 31 for the last 11 years Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings has hosted the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge, affectionately known as the R.I.P. Challenge. Carl has been kind enough to entrust the event to us, Heather and Andi, from now on, and we hope to do him proud. We know all of you readers will!
The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
Dark Fantasy.
The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.

I'm going to try for Peril the 2nd.
And Peril of the Group Read.

Be sure and check out their webpages for more information --
and then think about joining in!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Big Backyard Project

On Wednesdays I used to do a meme called
Outdoor Wednesday and I did love it as I got to share "my Nevada" outdoors, but, I haven't done that for quite sometime.  
I think I put everything on hold last October and am just now getting back into things.

While I do have some great outdoor photographs that I could share--I'm going to do this weird thing that I've always wanted to do:  
I want to see how my backyard changes throughout the year.
So! I'm going to take a few pictures of it each Wednesday to share.
Believe me--there is nothing more "dismal" than a Nevada  winter.  I just want to see how it changes in my backyard.

It gets its own version of dreary in the dead of winter, but this is what my backyard looked like on Saturday (I promise I'll take it on Wednesday from now on..)
at 10:43am

standing in my back doorway

standing at the edge of the patio
turning a few different directions

Then today  (actually Wednesday) I decided to take a few more photos... look how many leaves have fallen since Saturday!

I ventured out in the yard to take a picture looking back. 
I don't know that I'll do this every Wednesday.
(there will be snow sometimes!)

It certainly doesn't look like we live in the desert!

This is mostly for me, because I'm a nerd and I want to see how  the seasons change.
So, if you are looking at this thru-out the year, you might have to put up with junk lying in my yard that I didn't notice (like the blue Japanese lantern that fell off the tree during last night's wind storm among other things.)

Let's see how the seasons change....

Monday, August 28, 2017

Friday Friend Recipe #159 -- Self Filled Cupcakes

Come with me as I continue to countdown my Friday Friend Cookbook!

What is it, you may ask?

In a nutshell...
About 18 years ago, 50 of my closest friends and family, who had been on an e-mail forum with me, sent in recipes in different categories and we compiled a cookbook.
I decided to count those down!

Because  one night I was looking thru the cookbook and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog"
The Handyman--who thinks he knows me better than I know myself, said,  "you'll never EVER do that."
Well,  maybe I will!  Maybe I'll show him!

Which brings me to recipes #159
 My Mom's Self-Filled Cupcakes

These cupcakes are so good! And they are an easy treat to take to any picnic or church social.
And really, pretty easy to make also.

My mom submitted many recipes for the cookbook, so today, just a look back at her  little family thru the years.

My dad, mom, me and my brand new baby brother.
(notice my grandmother had fighting chickens on her wall above the fireplace.  Also known as cock-fighting. I had no idea this was design statement at one time--advance  12 years into the future and my mother had bullfighters  above her fireplace.  Apparently cruelty to animals was not on our family radar yet)

My mom's cat  eyed glasses were in the height of fashion!
(I think this was the Christmas when my Aunt gave me white Go-Go boots, and so began my career of dancing on the fireplace hearth.)

 Soon, tho, those cat eyed glasses gave way to contact lenses.
(and my dad forgot how to smile. Too bad because this was our Christmas card 1969.  You just couldn't do a do-over and waste film in those days.)

 And then some groovy sunglasses mom!  
(I was pretty fancy-schmancy in my Flower Power out fit!)

The teenage  years---of me and my brother.
(I'm not sure what to say--we gave them a run for their money. Kind of.  Not really, but our few antics were lived up to the old adage of cops kids and preachers kids are the worst! My dad was a cop.)

And that, my friends, is recipe #159.
Only 135 left to go.

Keep on cookin'....

It's Monday

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Apparently I have been missing in action since October of 2016.
I can tell you that I've read 72 books so far in 2017!

I'm sure you don't want a back log of my books, so I'll just tell you what I read last week...

(they were both very good.  I listened to the audio version of 'The Hate U Give',  I would highly recommend it.)

And what I'm reading this week..... 

That's what I'm reading.
How about you? 
What are you reading this week?

And best books of summer?
I loved: 
Beartown by Fredrik Bachman
Stingray Afternoons by Steve Rushin
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Those are some of my favorites.
What are some of your favorite summer reads so far?
I define summer reads as between Memorial Day to Labor Day.
So the end is almost here.

Can I say 'YAY' for fall?
(even tho it's supposed to be 101 today--fall is coming!)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Friday Friend Recipe #158 - Cousin Doss Sauce (spaghetti sauce #11)

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #158!

Barb's Cousin Doss Sauce

and you know all the whys and wherefores of this countdown, right? Homemade cookbook, friends contributed, Handyman said I couldn't/wouldn't do it, I'll show him, yadda yadda yadda....
...and the rest is cookbook history!

It's funny how we can take the same ingredients and put them all together and when combined by separate people, they all taste so different.
I mean spaghetti sauce, really?  You got some tomato sauce, some oregano, some garlic---pretty basic, right?  Yet there are always a few that stand out... this is one of them!

Now for my Barb story.
(I've lost track of how many times she's submitted a recipe)

First, let me talk about love and relationships.  You know how it is in a happy marriage, right?  How you shudder to think no one else could possible know you like your spouse? And to have to date again to find a partner? YIKES!  I mean who would know what I mean when I say  "no nosing", except the Handyman?  Who would know what the hell me and my kids are talking about when we call each other Irene? (okay, EVERYBODY in my family calls me Irene--and it is not my name!!  I have been known to spill food on my chest--it just falls off my fork!  My Grandma Irene did the same thing, BUT my kids never knew her, but they've knows to call anyone who spills on their chests, Irene.  It's a weird family thing )
Having to invite a new person into your lives with all your past, would be very difficult I think.
We have our own little oddities and eccentricities.
And they would just not 'get you' the way your spouse, kids, and old friends do. (sigh)

It's kind of like that in this friendship.
Not that I don't love new friends...I do.
It's just that this story is between old friends and it is going to seem--so odd.
But we all will 'get it'.
I'm not so sure you will.
Just go with it.

As you know our friends Barb and Doug are mega-game players.  A bit competitive and a bit zealous in their games.
Below is a photo of Doug and I who were losers in the game of Outburst and one of the Handyman and Barb who were winners!  (she obviously loves her country too)


Many years ago--1993 thru 1997 the Browns and The Stones had our own Fantasy Football league.
We called it the BDDRML league.
It stood for
Mike (their son)
Luke (our oldest son)

And we named ourselves.
I was the Demons
Doug the Divots
Barb, the Bullfrongs
Rich the Rottons
Mike the Mongloids
Lucas the Looneys

In 1995, their daughter Kim and our youngest son Mark joined the league.
(our middle son--no way.  He was going thru his middle child phase and thought it was stupid)
So Kim's Krushers
and Mark's Mutilators were added.

What we had to do, was to predict the winners of each week, for each game.  So for week one, those Demons (me) got 7 games right, 8 wrong.
It was a fun little betting game--no prizes or anything for winning--just the glory.

We were a couple years in where the story gets kind of weird.....
One day in the mailbox was a  'newsletter' which Doug had sent (which I have saved these many years--and now I know why) One envelope to each of us out of the blue.

And then a letter that no one understood....
He started calling himself "Bookie Brown" and a mysterious, invisible commissioner arrived on the scene.

But the strangest thing of all... when The Handyman (aka Rich) received this ransom like note in the mail from Barb and Doug's son Mike.
(I have kept it all these years in case we need it for evidence!)

The Handyman just laughed and laughed when he opened this.  I, on the other hand, was a bit concerned.

I'm stopping this little story here, but this is not the end...
oh goes on.
Just wait.
Read the newsletter carefully---
I'll be back to explain... (in another recipe post because Barb has tons!)

This is a weird old friendship.
We probably need a secret handshake or something.

And this is
Cousin Doss Sauce
recipe #158
only 136 left to go!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday Snapshot

I haven't participated in Saturday Snapshot since October.  10 months ago!
I guess there is no time like the present to jump back in.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by
To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post to West Metro Mommy Reads!   Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

My snapshots are of a little girlfriend trip I took this summer.
Our friend, Mitzi moved from Nevada, back to her home in Minnesota (after 20 years away), 3 years ago. She turned 50 in July, so a few of us decided to fly out to help her celebrate.

I have never been to the Midwest.  Had never seen fireflies, OH WAIT--Lightning Bugs (as I was told they are really called.  Silly Westerners!) or a male cardinal is all his full glory.
Guess what?  I was lucky enough to see both the first night, so I texted the Handyman and said,  "I've seen fireflies and a red bird.  My life is complete"
He texted me back and said, "I'm sorry I couldn't do that for you."
Well, you know, sitting on a front porch with a glass of wine watching Lightening bugs (sigh) that truly is hard to beat!

One day we drove over the Mississippi River to Wisconsin and went to a winery.
It was tons of fun!  Mitzi's husband was our chauffer.  April's husband (they had taken a 3 week RV trip across the states and met us in Minnesota) was his wing man.  They let us be as silly as we wanted.
And we were--very silly.

Here are snapshots of us being silly at the winery.
Please do not be offended by... well, you'll see. (sorry)

Our drivers had 'one' beer and then pretended they were bored.  But really, the laughed at all our antics!

 Like all of us trying to pose for a nice picture.
Not sure we ever got 'nice', but close enough.

What happened was---someone accidentally touched someone's chest and then... well the antics ensued.

 okay---family friendly again.

 This one is pretty nice!

What I saw of Wisconsin was really pretty.
Grape Vineyards!
We love them.

And those are my Saturday Snapshots.
Where are yours?

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

  My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #274 and 275 My Mother-in-law's Grapefruit Shrimp Salad and Crispy potatoes . and you know all th...