Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Real Snow

Well, this is rather depressing. I know I should expect it, but it still stinks when it finally starts to accumulate in earnest.

Other parts of the country are gazing out their windows and spying bright spots of autumn color here and there - I'm glancing out the window and thinking of 'A Christmas Carol'. It always bums me out. Had at least 2" overnight and still coming down.

Black ice and accidents everywhere. I shouldn't be surprised about that either. People forget how to drive on the white crap, so with the first good snowfall that sticks to the road, or the appearance of the damn black ice makes for lots of slipping and sliding and slamming on the brakes. Which, of course, is the totally wrong thing to do. But people forget it's so very different to drive in these conditions. They'll get better as the weather gets worse, but for now, the rollover, ditch plops and fender-bender reports keep rolling in.

The static across the 'weather-know' airways is that we may get slammed pretty good starting the night before Thanksgiving. Man, I hope not! There are way too many people on the roads then.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Gardenscape Tools Contest

Gardenscape Tools is having another contest.

Who can enter? "If you can dig and type, you can enter!"

Just give them an answer to this question: "My favourite thing about gardeing with my kids is ... "
The prizes:
First PrizeA pair of Felco ergonomic pruners - choice of F8 (right-handed) or F9 (left-handed) - the Cadillac of pruners
Second PrizeA Felco Folding Saw - new handle design makes it the most comfortable saw on the market.
Third PrizeFiskars MicroTip Shears - perfect for deadheading.

The answers to some of the previous contest questions really got me giggling.

Q; "I won't do that again! (garden related please)"
A: -"I won't roto-till the garden without the wife's permission, especially when she already planted it.

Q: "My idea of art in the garden is ... "
A: " the fine profile of my husband's behind, as he bends to pull a weed or two.

Lots of those contest questions would make great topic starters this winter. Hmmmm....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our Missing Person

It has been 21 years since anyone last saw my sister-in-law, Ronnieta. I've never even had the chance to meet her.

She failed to show up at the airport for a flight from Hawaii to Texas. It's as if she fell off the face of the earth.

No one can fully understand the pain and frustration of a family when someone they care about disappears until it happens to one of their own loved ones. 21 years is a long time, but we aren't going to give up on her. Ever.

It has been one heck of a journey with many disappointments along the way. You get a hint of a lead and it ends up at a dead end. It's a new heartbreak every time we hit a wall.

Someone out there knows something, and they may not even know they know.

We think this picture was taken sometime around 1982 and she'd be 39 now. Take a good, long look at this cute face. Have you seen a woman who may have looked like her as a teenager? Maybe you know someone who would have known, or knows her?

Maiden name: Ronnieta Sue Kitchen

Birth Date: 7/31/1968

Eyes: Blue
Hair: Dirty blond
Height: Unknown
Weight: Unknown
Last seen: Near Hickam Air Force base O'ahu, Hawaii in 1986
Age now: 39
We're still looking, Ronnie! We won't give up on you. We understand if you don't want to be found, but please let one of us know you're OK. We all miss you and think of you every day.

Update: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

That's For The Birds

I made a couple birdseed wreaths yesterday. They turned out very nice and make great gifts!

Here's my recipe:

Use a pan large enough to hold at least 7 cups.

Bring 1 1/4 cup of water to boiling.

Remove from heat and add 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin.

Stir until dissolved completely.

Slowly stir in 6 cups birdseed and decorative items (I used some dried flowers. You can use anything that won't hurt the birds and that they'll like - cranberries, nuts, small interesting sticks, etc.) I've found that a 50/50 mix of regular birdseed and black oil sunflower seed is what draws a bigger crowd. After all, what's the point of making these and then the birds won't touch them?

Press into bundt pan well greased with vegetable shortening. Or you can use any interestingly shaped pan. Bread pans also work great - just put a toilet paper tube toward one end (make sure to leave plenty of room between the tp roll and the end of the pan you're using!) and fill around the tube.

Refrigerate for a few hours until firmed. (I leave them in overnight).

Remove onto a wired rack to dry for a day or two. (may take a bit of tapping on the pan to get them out).

String decorative ribbons through hole to hang in tree or place on a door. (you can hang them anywhere you'd like). You can add more decorations to the outside if you wish - nothing that will hurt the birds!

Since I had some extra globe amaranth hanging around, I added half of it to the pan before pressing the seed in so it would show more, then just stirred the rest into the birdseed mix. Turned out beautiful!

Since Thanksgiving is so close, why not set some cranberries aside to share with your feathered winter entertainers? :) They look beautiful in these wreaths, as do small pieces of apple (I stick these to the outside afterwords) and oranges or their peels. I suppose if you used one of those curly rind gizmos for the oranges or even lemons it would look very festive!

The second one I added some nuts and that came out pretty cool too.

Have fun with them. The birds sure will. Just don't expect them to last too long once they find them!