Monday, September 30, 2013

Birthday Lime Cheesecake

What's up with our kids continuing to have birthdays? I mean, really, every year!

Frank gets a little bit cheated since he is our resident cake baker. For his birthday, someone else has to make it. Always thinking of something new, he asked for lime cheesecake. Lime? I asked. Lime! he stated emphatically. So lime it was. I substituted lime juice instead of lemon in our usual recipe, and added the zest of one lime. I also grated some zest on the top for decoration.

It was delicious.

Most of the family is singing-impaired.  So Frank had to conduct his own birthday song.

It cracked him up.  

I hope it was a good wish!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


The title of the final Breaking Bad episode immediately brought me back to this song, which I played over and over again on my Decca record player as a child.

It was my favorite song on my TV Western Themes Album.

And possibly my favorite song out of of all 6 records I owned as a child.

Back in El Paso my life would be worthless.
Everything's gone in life; nothing is left.
It's been so long since I've seen the young maiden
My love is stronger than my fear of death.

I saddled up and away I did go,
Riding alone in the dark.
Maybe tomorrow
A bullet may find me.
Tonight nothing's worse than this
Pain in my heart.

And at last here I

Am on the hill overlooking El Paso;
I can see Rosa's cantina below.
My love is strong and it pushes me onward.
Down off the hill to Felina I go.

Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys;
Off to my left ride a dozen or more.
Shouting and shooting I can't let them catch me.
I have to make it to Rosa's back door.

Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side.
Though I am trying
To stay in the saddle,
I'm getting weary,
Unable to ride.

But my love for

Felina is strong and I rise where I've fallen,
Though I am weary I can't stop to rest.
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle.
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest.

From out of nowhere Felina has found me,
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for,
One little kiss and Felina, good-bye. 

And then there were sequels.

Feleena knelt near him to hold and to hear him
When she felt the warm blood that flowed from the wound in his side
He raised to kiss her and she heard him whisper
"Never forget me, Feleena it's over, goodbye"
Quickly she grabbed for the six gun that he wore
And screamin' in anger and placin' the gun to her breast
Bury us both deep and maybe we'll find peace
And pullin' the trigger, she fell 'cross the dead cowboy's chest

Well, I don't know how it's going to end but I can't wait to find out.

The Daily Drive: Plane Landing

I used to post pictures of interesting things I saw on the daily drive to and from Ernest's school.  But since he got his driver's license, I don't take the drive much any more.  The Handy Husband drives to work every day but usually his drives are uneventful.  Not so on Friday!  A plane made an emergency landing on the freeway!

There was some convoluted talk of "fuel starvation" on the news reports, but what it boils down to is that it just ran out of gas!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pink Saturday: Flamingos

We visited a vintage trailer show today, 
and you know it wouldn't be vintage without 
some classic pink flamingos!

And some more unique flamingos.

And even just a silhouette.

Beverly at How Sweet the sound hosts Pink Saturday.  Click here for more great pink links.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Signs of Fall 2013

The first fall raindrops! At last!  It didn't do more than dampen the street but it was still pleasant.

Harvest colors.

This dog kept hoping some meat would FALL out of our sandwiches.  No such luck.  Sorry, dude.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thematic Photographic: Strangers in our Midst

I took this In London on a sunny May day. This little girl was happily wading in the fountain at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Carmi at Written Inc. hosts Thematic Photographic. This weeks theme is Strangers in our Midst, or creative ways to photograph strangers.

And a Haircut, Too

Ernest had a haircut, too. I managed to persuade him into a picture, using the excuse that I wanted a picture of Beloved Niece's purple hair.

Oh those crazy kids.

She used to be able to carry him around.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Just Call Him Sweeney

Ernest grew a really respectable beard over the summer but school requirements forced him to shave it off.

(I know I've used this picture before 
but it's really the only one I have of the beard, 
since he ducks out of range when I pick up the camera.)

He has never been satisfied with any of his shaving devices.    (His dad and brother have beards because they don't like shaving either.)  The hour we spent at Bed Bath and Beyond while they tried to find the sale price on an electric shaver -- wasted.  The mega packs of disposable Costco razors -- wasted.  He is a very particular guy.

So now he has gone all Sweeney Todd with a straight razor.

He only cut himself twice the first time.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The People Strainer

The people strainer. That's what we call the stairs. Francine can easily slip between the balusters to avoid her human pursuers. She will allow you to reach your hand through to pet and scratch her.

There was a recent discussion about Homer's ability to jump from the table to the counter.  Some people had their doubts.  Homer is proud to tell you that he has no problem whatsoever.

This doesn't happen too often as normally I put the newspaper and my coffee cup on the table so he doesn't have to work so hard to investigate.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Salad Bars

I was chopping away and the bars of veggies looked so pretty I just left them like that.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Crispy Leeks

I love it when Frank does something wild and crazy new and different in the kitchen.  The other day he said, "I want to make fried leeks."  Leeks?  I've never seen him eat a leek but I guess he had them as a topping on a restaurant meal.

He basically followed Alton Brown's Leek Rings recipe but cut them into sticks instead.  I did help with the frying.

They were so good!  Crispy with a more delicate flavor than an onion ring.  We would have eaten them all up but he bagged a few to take with him to a jam session.  (Music jamming not fruit!)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Paletas de Fresa

Aunt Snow set my mouth a-watering with all her posts about paletas.  It made me sorry I had given away the popsicle molds we seldom used.  Although truthfully, as an adult I felt a little silly eating a popsicle with a mickey mouse stick or rocket shaped pops.

But I could not get the paletas out of my head.  So the Amazon fairies sent me normally shaped molds and a pile of wooden popsicle sticks!

Heaven!  Finally a use for the strawberries people beg me to buy at the Wednesday farmer's market, and then forget to eat!  Oh, they're going to make smoothies, they say.  But they forget.

There is no better use for slightly elderly strawberries.  Macerate with some sugar, then blend with a dash of lemon juice and some water.  For the first batch I followed a recipe which had me cook them briefly.  Then I got lazy, as is par for the course with me.  I let the berries macerate a little too long (several days) and they were soft and smooshy and didn't need cooking at all.

I made some raspberry ones too, but the family did not devour them like they did the strawberry ones.

I have my eyes on some elderly kiwis in the fruit bowl.  And no one's eating the grapefruit either...

Friday, September 06, 2013

Talk to the Paw

It's crazy, I pick up my camera and find mystery pictures on it.  Like when your toddler gets a hold of your phone?  Only my mystery pictures always seem to feature the cats.

OK, it's not really a mystery.  I know who's taking them.

Francine says talk to the paw.

Homer was laying around one afternoon and three different people grabbed the camera to take pictures.

He was exhausted.

Yet accommodating.

Hey, says Homer.  It's not like I lie around ALL the time.  Sometimes I look rather sleek and upright.

I could be a library lion.

Hmph says Fifi.  I'm already a goddess.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

And Cutdowns

We have lived in our fairy tale cottage for 25 years, but many of the trees were planted between 45-50 years ago......we were told that the first owner planted many seedlings from his hiking trips.

I am always devastated when we lose a tree.

Our apple tree, the source of many  apples, recipes, and resulting blog posts, was riddled with bugs for many years.  It hung in there, but branch by branch, slowly withered away (a tree man told me I could put some pesticide on it, but then the apples would be poisoned -- what a dilemma there).

One Friday evening, I was working on dinner as always, when I heard a CRRRAAAACKKKK in the front yard and looked out to see the tree's best branch slowly falling to the ground.

Handy drove up at just about the same time.  We all trooped out to look at the tree.  Ernest said bluntly, "I'm not digging THAT stump."  Previous stump digging experience here.

But he was eager to wield a power tool.

Note the beard???  Pretty good for a first beard.

That is not an effect.  The center of that branch was gone.

Just lean into it, says Handy.

Since there was no stump digging 

(although if I have a tree guy come out for another tree I might have it ground down because I think I might like a gazebo there even though my gazebo idea didn't click with anyone else...YET)

we went with a birdbath.  

The raccoons knocked over Ernest's little birdbath too many times and it was so broken I had to toss it, so the birds will be happy with this addition.

And here are the only apples I was able to save.  That's not even a pie's worth.

Maybe a memorial applesauce.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


So many things around my house have been breaking down.

The computer went wacko but I fixed that myself. I am so proud of me!  It wouldn't start up: the screen just alternated between black and then the loading screen.  Oh, it's the video card, each of the handy people in the house told me.  I managed to run a scan and NOTHING came up.  So I restored it to a point back in time before the problem started.  Did I mention I'm so proud of myself!  Because I'm not considered a handy person around here, even though I am reasonably competent.  That's what happens in a houseful of handy people.

While I was off on the college road trip, Handy called the appliance man to look at the stove. Not only was it all explody when we turned on the broiler (a continual problem I have had repaired at least 5-6 times), but the oven ignition was explody too. A technical explanation is that the ignitors were taking too long to ignite, so there was more gas than normal. When they finally did light, the extra gas went WHUMP! and the oven door popped open a bit from the pressure. Yeah, not too safe never mind the fact that it made me jump every time it happened.  Yes, I do have a fire extinguisher just in case.  Mr. Appliance Man only had one ignitor so he replaced the one in the oven.  He never came back with one for the broiler (and conveniently forgot to bill us for the first visit).  So Handy ordered an ignitor on-line and fixed the broiler.

And then there was the refrigerator.  Water was collecting under the vegetable drawer.  Handy took off the back of the fridge and cleaned out the drain tubes etc. and it seems to be better.  It's still a little drippy but not nearly as much.

Also, the freezer was over-defrosting, thawing all the ice which would then drip out over everything in the freezer.  Handy figured out it was either an $8 part or a $200 electronic board.  The $8 part did not fix it but the $200 part did.

Ernest's car door lock was malfunctioning so he fixed that too.

Then the deadbolt on the back door broke.  First it was stuck, then it broke free and the key just spun around.  We called in a locksmith, because while Handy could have installed a new lock, he wouldn't have been able to rekey it to match the front door.  The locksmith actually fixed the lock, rather than replacing it.  Nice.

Then last night the coffee maker went crazy. You might think the coffee maker would be the last straw, but we do have back-ups for that! The 20-year-old pour-over Melitta, or we could steal the Mr. Coffee from Frank's apartment.

Usually things come in threes for me but let me count here - 7:  computer, oven, broiler, refrigerator, freezer, car door, coffee maker.   Hmmm.  What else could go wrong?

I'll tell you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Time Warp Tuesday: Girls in White Dresses

This is my paternal grandma in 1903.

Two of my maternal aunts in 1908 or so.  

My cousin and me in 1966.
I still have that dress!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Tasty Colors

At the car show the other weekend, the colors were so delicious. 
 Did they remind me of fruit? Or ice cream? Or jelly beans?


Cotton Candy!

Peaches and Cream!

I know you want to say Lemon.
But it has to be Banana,
says Curious George the backseat driver.




(On a silver platter.)

What could this be?
Fruit Punch?
Or a Flaming Moe?

What's your favorite flavor today?