Friday, June 17, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Bats, Birds, Blogs and Dogs


Lately I've been posting more on my other blog, Cooking Nick's Books, than I have on this one. It isn't that I don't have much to share with you here, I have lots; sometimes I think since that one has a specific goal (to read through all of Nicholas Sparks' novels and cook the food in them) it's easier to come up with ideas.

The more I blog about food, the more I enjoy it, so you might see more of that here as well. Tonight I tried a recipe for pork chops that I found in a 1963 McCall's cookbook I acquired from my Aunt A. not too long ago, and I decided to take some pictures so I could share it with you. I might even post it on both blogs, even though it has nothing whatsoever to do with a Nicholas Sparks book.


Every time I start taking pictures of food I'm cooking (or anything else inside the house, for that matter) my dog starts barking. I'm not sure why she hates me taking photos; maybe the flash bothers her. She's very weird sometimes.


Last week, Larry graduated with honors from eighth grade. (When I was growing up, we didn't have "graduation" until we finished high school.) There was a Mass and graduation ceremony for all of the eighth graders from the parish school; Larry even received some awards: the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, a Perfect Attendance award for the school year (I didn't even know he had perfect attendance), and an award for altar serving. We are so proud of him!

Know who else is proud of our son? Father R, our pastor. He told him so the next day. Wow!


Recently we've been hearing and seeing a strange bird flying around over the lake, several of them. They fly around making loud noises and grabbing fish out of the water. It's hard to get a good look at them because they're so fast. The other day, Moe announced that they were kingfishers. I grabbed my camera and attached the zoom lens, and we walked down to the edge of the water to see if we could see them. Finally they stopped long enough for me to snap some photos.

I wish these were clearer; I was able to confirm online that they are indeed belted kingfishers. I'd only seen them in books, except for the one I might have spotted once by a drainage pond in the middle of a nearby business district. (That's a favorite local spot for waterfowl. Check it out. In fact Moe and I stopped by there this morning, and I didn't see a kingfisher, but we did spot something that looked like a cross between a heron and a kingfisher. Maybe that's what I'd seen there.)

I hope they stick around for a while. They're way cool. Plus I want to get some better photos of them!


The weather has been wonderful this week. The kids at school were able to enjoy playing outdoor games during the last couple of days without sweltering (in fact, on Tuesday as I watched the fourth grade classes play a kickball game, I wished I had brought my sweater.

Next week it's supposed to be in the upper 90's and humid. Ugh!


When the sun goes down the bats come out. Curly likes to sit and watch them fly around over the lake. I enjoy sitting with him too, sharing a few quiet moments. It seems that during the day, my interactions with him have mostly been me nagging, and him pushing my buttons. It's nice just to sit.

It's hard to take photos at night. I took the first one with my phone, and the other two on the low-light setting. I couldn't keep my hands quite still enough, and Curly was moving around a little bit. I like the effect, though. (I wonder if that's a firefly in the upper right corner...)


Joe has a new job! He's worked at the same company for over twenty years. For the last thirteen years, ever since we moved into the house we live in now, he's had to commute as much as 90 minutes each way to work. His new job is five minutes away. Ten if there's traffic. Three miles. It was a hard decision to leave the people he's worked with for so many years, but spending ten minutes a day in the car versus three hours---that will be awesome. I can't wait; we can meet for lunch sometimes, and be finished with dinner by 7 pm (rather than getting started at 7:30 on a good day). He has one more week with his old job and then he starts his new one.

I was just thinking as I was showering this morning (I get lots of ideas when I'm in the shower, don't ask me why) that if he had been working for a different company back in the fall of 1991--and he hadn't been there all that long then, I don't think--he and I might never have met. My friend L. was working for the same company at the time, and she introduced us. Sometime I'll tell you the story of how we met. God has a way of putting people in the right place at the right time. And now it's time for him to start a new chapter in his life. And we don't even have to move!

See Jennifer's Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes! (I even posted some yesterday on Cooking Nick's Books.) Have a great weekend!

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