Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Last Stitch Effort?

Actually a Last-ditch effort is a desperate final attempt, as in We're making a last-ditch effort to finish on time. This expression alludes to the military sense of last ditch, "the last line of defense." Its figurative use dates from the early 1800s. What I, however am referring to is a new knitting stitch that I have attempted. This picture is my third attempt. While, as so noted, there is a mistake, I am making progress. Note that there is a TRAIL behind the frog THAT IS A GOOF on my part...Other wise know as A COVER UP!
The Learn to Knit Afghan Book by Barbara G. Walker is really great because I can learn all of these stitches in a small project that ultimately will end up as not only an afghan but expand my expertise in knitting in general. A totally Win Win as I see it. So as I prepare to leave the country I decided to keep my fingers nimble. Truth it was also to keep my mind off of being so darned excited. Like this morning 4:23 am I awoke and thought it was tomorrow and I needed to get up, shower and get to the plane. GEESH!
I will by this July have been knitting for three years. The only remarkable thing about that is the fact I even wanted to. My Mom is no doubt chuckling from above on that one. Got to give her credit, she never made me do it. She instead allowed me to be the Tom Girl that I was. [Dad did too!]
Of course there are many funny stories of many of our childhoods. I suppose the funniest is the first time I made dinner for my then Boyfriend, now my Sweetie. He still is a brave man, even after eating what was supposed to have been meatloaf. Utensils used, a spoon! Now off to repack for the 4th time! We weighed the luggage and I am at 37 pounds could go 5 more pounds…but then I need room for souvenirs!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


It is so fabulous when your progeny excel and even more fantastic when it is shared. Like this picture from last February.
So while the entire forum was most informative to me I would like to point out two sections for you. After you go to the ***BEST PART*** [SHOUT OUTS] about our eldest daughter then you can settle down and absorb this presentation of Forum Three: Intimidation and Deceptive Practices! Minute 70 [@72:38] and Minute 80 [@86:16] Well gosh I am DeeMom ;=) WTG RUTH! <<<<~~~~~~~~~~the link! ;)

Monday, February 26, 2007

KaleeMEra - Good morning

The countdown begins in earnest. Day 3 τρία (m: τρεις, f: τρεις, n: τρία). Now to pack! The cardinal numbers for one, three, and four, have the form of adjectives; hence, they can be declined according to gender and case (but obviously not according to number, since one can be only in the singular, and three and four only in the plural). All the other numbers have just a single, undeclined form. Words to Get You Around! Big warning: In Greek, the word for "No" can sound like "Okay" - OH-kee, as in "Okey-dokey".

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Day Light and St. Patrick

Do not forget ~~ Beginning in 2007, most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time. See you all on St. Patrick’s Day, which is a favorite of mine.
Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his captivity, he became closer to God. Dance as if no one were watching,Sing as if no one were listening,And live everyday as if it were your last. AND Go mbeannai Dia duit(May God bless you) Music & FOOD PS don’t forget to Take out the trash! Yakety yak (don't talk back) See you all in a few!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Maybe In a few of weeks ~~ "Musco Ducks"

As far as I am concerned SPRING has arrived. This one particular pair of geese are checking the odds of using a nesting area that has proved to be a good one in the past. It usually takes them several weeks to firmly decided as well as prepare the nest for the depository of their clutch of eggs. The ice jam has cleared and life goes on. The wood ducks are delighted to have no ice to hamper their spring rituals. The sun is shining and the temperatures have moderated nicely so far. There is one lone Muscovy duck that my heart is aching for. It had lost its mate [old age] this past December. I honestly think I want more of this particular breed of duck. Most people find this duck ugly, for some reason I never thought they were especially ugly just unique. So while I am gone I will really think about adding more Muscovys, if only to give the lone one company. Besides they are really dear ducks. Now back to de icing the Deck. I really want to grill out this weekend!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rough Diamond

This phrase refers to the fact that diamonds found in nature are rough and uneven. They must be cut and polished to bring out their true beauty. As I looked at the ice on the creek bank today there was a beauty to what nature did. Looks almost like the snout of an old tortoise.

Do you smell what I Smell?

I stepped outside to feed George and there it was... hanging in the air. The beginning smells of spring and the Song hung over my mind. I had observed the other day that our geese were beginning to pair of and I told my Sweetie that some of the songbirds were as well were showing sign of being twitterpated! Flower: [about two birds fluttering around] Well! What's the matter with them? Thumper: Why are they acting that way? Friend Owl: Why, don't you know? They're twitterpated. Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Olfaction, the sense of smell, is the detection of chemicals dissolved in air. The chemicals themselves, generally at very low concentrations, are called odors. Olfaction, taste and trigeminal receptors together contribute to flavor. The human tongue can only distinguish among seven to eight distinct types of taste, while the nose can distinguish among hundreds of substances, even in minute quantities. Olfaction amplifies the sense of taste, as can be proven by a simple "kitchen" experiment. If peeled pieces of apple are placed in one bowl, and peeled pieces of potato in another, and then the nostrils are held completely closed while a piece from one bowl is sampled, the taste of apple and potato are indistinguishable.
The smell was that of Rosie the Resident Skunk, a name we tagged on to the animal way back when the kids were small.
Skunks are nocturnal, hunting at night for insects, grubs, small rodents, snakes, frogs, mushrooms, berries and fruit, pet food, bird food, and garbage. Skunks have a high preference for eggs and, as a result, ground-nesting birds suffer losses. Of course another possibility could be the rains had come and the ice was breaking up on the creek possibly making many evacuate their burrows.
Breeding usually occurs during February and March for the striped skunk; gestation time is about 9 weeks and litters range from four to six kits. After a few months the kits can be seen following their mother as she makes her nightly rounds in search of food. Skunks do not hibernate, but in regions of colder weather females may congregate in communal dens during the winter. Since skunks often den in burrows, but because they prefer to do as little digging as possible, they will use abandoned burrows dug by ground squirrels, fox, or coyotes, enlarging them only if necessary. If dens are scarce, they will readily use brush piles, hollow logs, and culverts. In urban settings, they den under decks, porches, or beneath buildings.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" February 20, 2007Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.
Time to make;
SIMPLE CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO Perhaps the simplest of the gumbos, but a hearty one and a classic combination. If you can't find andouille, use a local smoked sausage or kielbasa or whatever smoked sausage you like. This one's easy to knock off quickly for a great evening's meal. · 1 cup oil · 1 cup flour · 2 large onions, chopped · 2 bell peppers, chopped · 4 ribs celery, chopped · 4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced · 4 quarts chicken stock · 2 bay leaves · 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or to taste · 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves · Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste · 1 large chicken (young hen preferred), cut into pieces · 2 pounds andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces · 1 bunch scallions (green onions), tops only, chopped · 2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley · Filé powder to taste Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning and brown quickly.
Brown the sausage, pour off fat and reserve meats.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and cook the flour in the oil over medium to high heat (depending on your roux-making skill), stirring constantly, until the roux reaches a dark reddish-brown color, almost the color of coffee or milk chocolate for a Cajun-style roux.
If you want to save time, or prefer a more New Orleans-style roux, cook it to a medium, peanut-butter color, over lower heat if you're nervous about burning it.
Add the vegetables and stir quickly. This cooks the vegetables and also stops the roux from cooking further. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.
Add the stock, seasonings, chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then cook for about one hour, skimming fat off the top as needed.
Add the chopped scallion tops and parsley, and heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice in large shallow bowls. Accompany with a good beer and lots of hot, crispy French bread. YIELD: About 12 entrée sized servings.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Did ya Know?

This flower is called Anthurium
73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
Here is what I got my Sweetie! Note the ribbon on the vase it looks like a TIE, how kewl is that?

Sunday, February 18, 2007


White pepper and the People Tree

FACT: White peppercorn ripens fully on the vine before it is picked. While a black peppercorn is picked when still green and dried in the sun until it turns black. Last night even after WVU played [and won] against Seaton Hall, the sky was alive with minuscule snowflakes no larger that a grain of white pepper. As the evening went on and I finally felt warm enough to get rid of my heavy vest the grains, while no larger were greater in number. This morning when for some reason I got up at 4 am I looked out and saw the pepper had stayed. I went down to deal with the George Routine and hoping the gas had stayed on during the night. While I sipped my first cup of coffee in the Nook I saw that our geese had bedded in the snow in front of the steps to the front porch. For sure there was some consternation as the cats wanted to get to their food minimal fussing from the geese but indeed Loud fussing made me chuckle. I stayed up long enough to allow George time for is morning rituals and went back to bed leaving the coffee cup ¾ ‘s full. When I re awoke it was almost 8 am. I stretched and looked out the window at the tree and saw a Junco hopping on the fresh snow seemingly delighted with the additional amounts of this Pepper snow. From the time I was awake for the first time until now there had been significant amount of new snow, almost and inch. Now with a reheated cup of coffee I begin my morning ritual of waking up. So quiet as the flakes shimmy down to the ground, amazing looking out and seeing nothing but snow-covered land. Then I finally saw the elusive Pileated Woodpecker flying from left to right down the creek bank. The big deal here is that they are hard to see in flight but today that Redhead stood out. The snowflakes have yet to stop. I look out to a particular Walnut tree close to the creek bed and notice that this fine-grained snow has allowed me to again see shapes of what I perceive to be figures of things. Since we had this tree trimmed several years ago there is a particular area that when the snow lays just right it reminds me of an old Zen priest. He is there now. Kinda neat!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


What is the fascination? It is merely water that is stiff! HA! But then this is the time for stiff weather. Go Figure! People are funny, and I am sure many will concluded I lead the pack on that account. Consider this ~ It is 11 degrees outside; there is a layer of snow covering the ground. As you walk there is a destinctative CRUNCH. As you walk toward your car you hear something rhythmic. You begin to alter your cadence to accommodate the crunch of your boots on the snow and the singing of your Corduroy trousers. Kewl a mini symphony as you now add the cringing sound of scraping the ice off the windshield. The pants and boots still in cadence because you are so darned cold, lets now add STEAM, well sure your nose is breathing in and out and these little puffs ascend into the air. Now you have this entire thing going on but you run into someone that just does not see the magical humor and crushes the moment by saying. “Man it darned cold out here.” DUH! Crash boom! Guess their Cords are worn out! Bunch of negative people seem bent on ruining positive thinking! Rats Attamus! "Baby, It's Cold Outside.” When is it bad weather why do people get insane??? Like the other day when it got all the way to 32 degrees, I commented {bad me for that one] “ wow it is so much warmer” Return comment “It is still cold,” they said. I glanced at the person and retorted, “Yes but it is NOT minus 11 degrees.” All I can say is the Negative comments make my Cords sing geesh people lighten up! Here in a few months those same people will be grousing about the heat. Goodness sake lighten up and look for the positive. Negative people look out I am going to ignore you! Just be sure you have trimmed your nose hairs before going out in this cold weather!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

On the edge of the Ice

I spy something small and dark with rich glossy fur (Mustela Vison) While what I saw in December and again in January and again today I believe is a mink, my Sweetie said it could very well be a Fisher. They seem to be making a come back in our state. Because of the size of a Fisher Weight: Average 10-12 lbs I deduce that what I saw was indeed a mink.
In its wild state, the mink (Mustela vison), a member of the weasel family, is a small, brown fur-bearing animal rarely exceeding 1350 g (3 lbs.) in body weight. Wild mink are fierce, solitary carnivores, with an average life span in the wild of less than 3 years. The mink is native only to North America and varies in size, fur quality and appearance in various geographical locations, giving rise to a number of subspecies. Of course the best way to determine what it was I saw it to check the tracks. The Fisher, called Pekan by trappers, is another marten but larger -- about the size of a fox -- much fiercer, and spends more time on the ground. Although it prefers swampy lowland forests and is a good swimmer, it is not as aquatic as an otter or even a mink, and fish are only incidental in its diet. The name "fisher" was probably invented to distinguish it from the pine marten. The long silky fur, varying from grayish brown to dark brown or almost black, is in great demand but this wary animal is difficult to trap and very scarce. Almost four feet long and weighing from 25 to 35 pounds, the wolverine has a broad powerful head, thick body and short sturdy legs. Its long thick hair dark brown except for a broad band of yellowish white along each side, is used in the far north to trim parkas because it will not accumulate frost. The fisher is found from the Sierra Nevadas in California to the Appalachians in West Virginia and north to New England.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Here is our Best in the Hearts~ George!

Madison Square Garden Last night an English springer spaniel named James Best in Show at the Westminster’s 131st edition. It was the sixth Best in Show for an English springer spaniel at the elite show; the most recent one came in 2000.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Miami and Homeward Bound

As we get into port the Miami marathon is going on. January 28, 2007 2007 ING Miami Marathon. More than 9,100 runners competed in the fifth annual race, which attracted runners from all over the globe. Ethiopian runner Teshome Gelana won the men's marathon in 2:17:54 and Ramila Burangulova, of Russia, won the women's race in 2:40:25. A group of more than 50 disabled athletes that included military personnel recently injured in Iraq led out the ING Miami Marathon Sunday morning. We watched this as we sat in the Harbor awaiting the divers to search the bottom of the boat for any illegal stuff. The myriad of runners passed our ship for a good 30 minutes. Leaving the Cay with temperatures at 88 arriving Miami with temperatures at 74 then onto Pittsburgh with temperatures at 11…Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Frogs and ~~

Tiki gods This particular morning as I ate 1/3 of a piece of dry toast and ½ of a banana while supping on tea, my table companions, in conversation brought up Beads and hair braiding. A lovely couple in their 70’s talked about some of their cruises. When one lady passed our table with her children the woman noted all the beads and braids. She wondered why ANYONE in their right mind would do such a thing. I paused mid sip and commented, “well they could do drugs.” Her face told it all, she did not understand what or why I said what I had. I quickly added well when you see me at dinner tonight I just might have some of those beads in my hair. Sometimes I just do not know when to keep my mouth shut I guess. Of course all along I had decided I would get a bead braid or two, it sure was not to show the lady and her husband, whom I never saw after that. Bet they would not have understood why I had a frog tattoo. Umm! The private island was neat. My travel companion was snorkeling while I was recovering. The native crafts etc were interesting. I especially loved seeing the Sea Fans like the ones I had seen when I was on the Submarine. Yes I bought one also a starfish and even a bottle of sand from the island. Of course there was a great need to get silly t-shirts as well. It was neat to see the some of the staff dressed in a Tux serving Tooty Fruity drinks to the swimmers, then again more parasailing. In my next life I shall try it.

More Chilling out

Beads, hair & sand

Great Stirrup Cay

We were arriving at out last island, Great Stirrup Cay, (pronounced "key") it is an uninhabited island owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines; when we arrived there we could see another cruise ship nearby, but that was at Little Stirrup Cay (also known as CoCo Cay), which is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises. Turns out several of the cruise lines own islands in this particular area -- none of them have drinkable water, so they aren't any use for permanent habitation, but they've got splendid beaches, and range up to a mile or two long.
There is a tender-- it's based on an inhabited island nearby, and comes over for the day, bringing a batch of Bahamians who help set up the facilities and who run a tiny little market selling T-shirts, souvenirs, and so on once the guests arrive. It then shuttles passengers to and from the ship.
There was, of course a lighthouse, but the terrain made it impossible to get there from where the tender let us off. [Well impossible since I chose to wear my Birks.] Walking in the sand and in the water was great anyway. The Berry islands have become a huge vacation spot for people from all over the world. The largest draw is the big game fishing. Anglers come from all over to fish there. Some of the fish that can be found there are Bill fish, Tuna, Grouper, Tiger fish, Yellowtail Snapper, Wahoo, King mackerel, and many more. In May, Great Harbor Cay is packed with visitors who come there for the annual fishing tournament. There are also great spots for snorkeling and reef diving.

Lobster and more

I am ready for the next trip with a tiny pouch of crystallized ginger.
While staying in my cabin from@ 6 pm to get over the ills of mal de mer, the steward came in and showed me how to make a lobster. That night the chocolate eyes were NOT eaten. I slept on and off until around 4 am. My head slowly gazed out our oven balcony window showing sea of calm proportions. Merci Mon Dieu! Evoking Coleridge and Gentle Winds and Fair Breezes. It was a lovely day and I was even able to eat 1/4th of a hamburger, so I was getting better.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007


And Before seasickness ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~