Monday, January 31, 2011

My "Iron Chef" Recipes: Winter Squash

If I thought there were a lot of lentils, they are nothing compared to the varieties of winter squash! But I found recipes for them were usually “bake and stuff” – with the real recipe being for the stuffing mix. 

With so many types, I’ll be experimenting for quite a while winter squash. So as I try new recipes and methods of preparation, I’ll post the winners for you to try also. 

Here’s a great web site if you’d like to see some of the many varieties available!

Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans

1 medium spaghetti squash


2 teaspoons olive or corn oil

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1 jalapeño chili, seeded, minced

1/2 cup red pepper, chopped

1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained well

1/2 cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh

1 teaspoon chili powder

All of the reserved cooked squash, about 4 cups

1/3 cup cilantro, minced

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

Roast squash in a 375°F oven for 50 minutes until tender or cut squash in half and place in a microwave dish with 1/2 inch of water, lightly covered with plastic wrap for 20 minutes on high until tender. cool. When cool, scoop flesh from squash halves leaving the shell intact for stuffing.

For the filling, heat oil in a large pan and sauté red onion, jalapeño chili and red pepper for 2 minutes. Add beans, corn and chili powder; sauté 1 minute longer. Add cooked squash, cilantro, lime juice and salt, cook 1 minute until heated through.

Fill squash halves with filling, mounding mixture in the center.

Serves 4

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 pie pumpkin (cleaned out)

1 onion

1 lb. ground beef

1 4 oz can mushrooms

1 cups cooked rice

1 Tbs. soy sauce

1 8 oz can water chestnuts

1 Tbs. brown sugar

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Brown onion and hamburger. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and soup. Simmer for 10 min. Add rice, water chestnuts and mushrooms. Put mixture inside the cleaned pumpkin and bake 350 for 1 1/2 hours with lid on. When serving-scrape some of the pumpkin so you get some pumpkin with the casserole.

Sunny-Side-Up Stuffed Squash

2 small to medium acorn squash, halved & seeded

11/2 cups cooked brown basmati rice

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/8 tsp ground white pepper, or to taste

4 egg yolks


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place squash halves, cut side down in a 13"x9" baking dish. Pour water around them about 1/2" deep. Bake squash 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 3–5 minutes.

In a bowl, stir together cooked rice with feta and white pepper until well combined. Invert squash halves, leave in the same baking pan, and fill with rice feta mixture, pressing down to create a relatively smooth, mounded surface.

Use a spoon to hollow out a small circle, about 1/2" deep into the top of the stuffing. Slide an egg yolk into the hollow of each stuffed squash half.

Spray some tin foil with olive oil or canola oil cooking spray. Cover baking pan loosely with the foil and return to oven to bake about 20 minutes or until egg yolks are just firm.

Sprinkle lightly with pimento or paprika and serve one stuffed squash half to each person.

Serves 4

My "Iron Chef" Recipes: Lentils


I don't have photos of this month's recipes.  Sorry!!  I'll double safeguard so there will be some for the February posts!

There are so many types of lentils! I was really surprised when I started looking into them. They are used in the cuisines of areas that tend to have a dry climate… the Mediterranean, the middle east, north Africa, and the near east. 

They are high in fiber, a good protein source and have some important amino acids. They contain iron too. And they are tasty!

Apricot Lentil Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion -- chopped

2 cloves garlic -- minced

1/3 cup dried apricots

1 1/2 cups red lentils

5 cups vegetable stock

3 Roma (plum) tomatoes -- peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

salt -- to taste

ground black pepper -- to taste

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sauté onion, garlic, and apricots in olive oil. Add lentils and stock. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and season with cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes. 

Stir in lemon juice. Puree 1/2 of the soup in a blender, then return to the pot. Serve.

Servings: 4

Marrakesh Rice and Lentil Soup

3/4 cup lentil -- washed and so in 7 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 cup rice -- rinsed

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons flour -- dissolved in 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 tablespoons butter

Place lentils with their water, olive oil, cilantro, and paprika in a saucepan and bring to boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes; then add remaining ingredients except flour, lemon juice, and butter. Cook for another 20 minutes or until rice grains are tender but still whole. 

Remove from heat; slowly stir in the flour paste, lemon juice, and butter. 

Return to heat and bring to a boil; then serve immediately. 

Serves 8.

Pine Nut Couscous with Lentils

5 cups water

1 cup dried green lentils

1 cup pine nuts

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 2/3 cup quick-cooking couscous -- (10 ounces)

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice -- or to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest 

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add lentils and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until lentils are tender but firm, 30 minutes or as package directs. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain again. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place pine nuts in a small pan and bake, shaking once or twice, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. 

In a medium saucepan, combine remaining 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes. 

Scrape couscous into a large bowl and separate grains with a fork. Let cool slightly. Add lentils, pine nuts, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, cranberries, green onions, mint, lemon juice, parsley, orange zest and lemon zest. Toss gently to mix well. Taste, adding more salt or lemon juice if desired. Serve at cool room temperature. 

Note: You can make this dish ahead, but you may need to add more lemon juice and olive oil if you do, because the lentils and couscous absorb a lot of liquid as they sit.  

Serves 4 - 6

Irish Red Lentil Savory

6 ounces red lentils

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs

1 can tomatoes -- (14 oz)

2 onions -- chopped

2 tablespoons tomato purée

2 ounces butter

1/2 teaspoon basil

salt and pepper

1/2 cup sour cream

6 ounces cheddar cheese 

Place the lentils in a pan with enough water to cover them. Add the herbs and simmer until tender. 
Sauté the onion in the margarine until soft. Add the lentils and all other ingredients apart from the cheese and cream. Simmer for 15 minutes and pour into a greased ovenproof dish. Slice the cheese, and place on top with the cream, then grill or bake 350F.

Encyclopedia of Moi: C

Are you ready to C this edition of the "Encyclopedia of Moi"?  (OK, bad bad pun -LOL-).

C*: AKA “Sis”. Also “Mama” to Little Bird and Little Hoss. We are 11 ½ years apart in age, so we really didn’t ‘grow up together’. She was a little kid when I married. We are pretty different in personality and it has taken us a long time to finally ‘grow together’. But it’s happening now. And I like it.

Chocolate: Dark, if you please. Very dark. It is a health food after all.

Compassion International: We have been Compassion child sponsors for about 10 years. Currently we have 4 children (our first child left the program shortly before she would have “aged out”). Of those 5 children we have visited 2, the one who left the program and our Maasai boy in Kenya. Someday we plan on visiting the other 3.

Cherry Garcia ice cream: My favorite carton ice cream. Chocolate and cherries and creamy. Look at those “C” words! Oh my…

Coconut water: Guess this is a ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ thing. I tried it for the first time a few years ago at a roadside stand in Mexico. LOVED it!

Critters: That’s what we call the various wildlife who visit our home out here in ‘the sticks’. We have regular visitors of deer (up to 10 will sleep in our yard), coyotes, possum, raccoon, ground hog, chipmunk, squirrels, lizards by the hundreds, a few King snakes, owls, hawks, turkeys, and endless numbers of songbirds. Oh, an occasional bald eagle too.

Chickadee: Of those songbirds who hang out here, my favorite is the tiny chickadee. They are SO cheeky. First ones to the feeder after I refill it… sometime they buzz past me when I’m only a few steps away.

Canon: My preference in cameras. I have a Rebel for my SLR, and am shopping for a small ‘point and shoot’. (Himself’s P&S is lousy and he took my Canon P&S with him… so I get to buy a new one for me!)

Caves: Growing up in MO, there were a lot of caves to explore. My favorite was a ‘wild cave’ over in High Ridge. You had to climb down a rope (and back up to leave!) and then crawl thru a tunnel. Fun! It was the place of my first date with Himself.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Getting Revved Up!

I recently attended an interesting class at Ingredients.  The class was called “Rev Up Your Metabolism”.   I decided I could definitely use a bit of ‘revving’ so I checked it out.

It was taught by Sarah-Jane Bedwell, a registered dietitian ( ) from Nashville. Her web site also has a link to her blog which is full of good ideas and suggestions. As a dietitian she focused on ways to “be healthy” rather than “lose weight”. Her philosophy is if you are eating correctly and are not sedentary you will be at your correct weight. And if you are a bit “fluffy”… yes, you’re going to have to be moving more to get to ‘correct’ than you would to ‘maintain’.

She went over her top 8 ways to NATURALLY speed up your metabolism:

1. Eat breakfast within one hour of getting up … it wakes up your metabolism.

2. Eat more frequently (within a 1200 calorie range). Eating something every 4-ish hours keeps your body in “burn” mode.

3. Do cardio and resistance exercise, alternating days.

4. Get plenty of sleep… at least 7 hours. Bananas and walnuts contain compounds that will help you sleep. Don’t watch TV or be on the computer for an hour before bedtime.

5. Use caffeine in moderation… but you don’t have to have more than 1-2 cups of coffee/tea to do it.

6. Eat spicy foods. They increase the body’s release of certain hormones, which in turn stimulate the metabolism.

7. Drink green tea, at least 2 cups a day. It can be either hot or iced.

8. Move more. Park farther from the door, take the steps, even standing while you are on the phone burns more calories than sitting and yakking! Basically… get off your buns and just do it!

Then she went over some recipes that are examples of changes one could make to eat healthier without feeling deprived.

Fresh Guacamole.  Avocadoes are a great source of monounsaturated fat, potassium, magnesium and a whole bunch of other things. 

Three Bean and Beef Chili.  A small amount of lean beef in your diet is a good thing, as it is needed to build muscle (yes, I know there are other sources of protein… I like beef).  The bulk of this chili is its beans, and we all know we don’t get enough fiber in our diets.

Moist Mocha Cake.  Life is good!  Dark chocolate is absolutely loaded with antioxidants… even more so than tea, wine or blueberries.  You need to eat chocolate that is 70% or more cocoa to get the most benefits. 

Ginger Green Iced Tea. Some studies have shown that people who drink about 24 oz of green tea each day burn an extra 70-100 calories.

I’m going to incorporate these tips into my life and see how they work for me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi: A

I had some time between my chores to play on the computer and decided to work on my “A” list.  Now I’m caught up!  (Nice to be caught up on at least one thing in my life!  LOL)

Auntie: I truthfully had no idea how much these little ones were going to wrap me around their cute little fingers. WRAPPED. (But not so much that I’ve become a pushover…) I cannot say how much I look forward to my ‘baby time’.

AAA: I don’t leave home without my AAA card! I’ve been a member for almost 30 years (with a few lapses – which I have regretted!). Besides the auto service things like towing and jump starts, the tour books and maps are great. My favorite thing about AAA is that it doesn’t cover an auto… it covers the driver. So if I am using Best Friend’s car and it breaks down, I won’t be stranded. Sweet!

Adventure: … Gotta have it! Now mind you, I’m not one of these base-jumper adrenaline junkies, but I certainly like to get the blood moving. But adventure isn’t all about getting a ‘rush’. It’s any step out of your experience or comfort zone. Adventure might be going to the opera or trying Indonesian food. It’s spice to keep your life from becoming bland.

Aurora Borealis: I’ve seen small displays a few times in North Dakota. Beautiful. Someday I want to go further north to hopefully see a really spectacular one and to photograph them. Here is a site that gives a daily prediction on aurora activity:  

Artichokes: Yummy! Any recipe that has artichoke in it gets a second look from me. One of my favorite ways to eat them is to simply steam and dip in melted butter. But I’ve noticed in the last few years it is getting very difficult to find a good artichoke in the stores. Stores seem to carry only pitiful small dried-up buds more suited for a crafts project than the dinner table.

Avgolemono soup: My absolute favorite soup is this tangy Greek lemon chicken soup. Greek comfort food! Here is an easy recipe for it:  

Amazing Race: One of the few shows I watch on TV. I would even be interested in doing it… tho I don’t know who I would have as a partner. Himself? NO WAY. While he is fabulous when we get to our destination, he is the worlds worst with the actual “travel” part. Best Friend? That could be a possibility. She’s certainly good at barking at me to hurry up in an airport!

Antarctica: On the top of my “dream” list is a cruise to the Antarctica. I already have the tour picked out. It’s with National Geographic Expeditions. Check it out!  

Andulusian horses: First time I saw one of these beautiful animals it was love at first sight! I’ve been plotting ever since how I can get one of my very own. Some day…

Archery: In my plans for our yard, there is one for an archery range. It’s a sport I have always enjoyed but haven’t had much opportunity to pursue. I own a recurve bow with a 45# draw weight and I’m looking forward to using it again!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Encyclopedia of Moi: B

In reading thru blog link-up parties, I found one that sounded like a lot of fun to do. Over at Shannanigans ( ) Shannon is hosting a link up party every two weeks called “The Encyclopedia of Moi” which she describes this way – “I'll pick some things that I like, do, appreciate, covet or just find interesting and tell you all about them. And by the end of the year, I'll have a whole encyclopedia of moi.”

What you do is alphabetically tell something about yourself. It’s harder than you think. I’m jumping in a week late… I’ll get “A” up sometime before the next link-up.

So without further ado, here is Teri; brought to you by the letter “B”.

Brussel Sprouts: I love them. I know that most people gag when they even hear the words but I could dine on them every day of the week. Part of the problem is most people overcook them into smelly mushy blobs. Try oven roasting them with some olive oil. Wonderful!

Beach: When I think of beaches, it’s not warm sandy tropical ones. No, the beaches that make my heart sing are northern beaches. Some sand, rocks, waves, cool air. I’m talking Alaska, Washington, Maine. Those are my kind of beaches.

Betelgeuse: That is MY star. It is the bright red star in the Orion constellation just above the belt. It is a pulsating red supergiant… one of the biggest stars there is. And someday it is going to supernova in a spectacular explosion as it collapses in on itself. When? Who knows? And that is why I look at it every night it is in the sky!

Butter: It’s better! It tastes better, it cooks better. As to its healthiness, I’m in agreement with this quote: “As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.” Joan Gussow.

Books: My Mom read to me as a baby and I started reading at a very early age. I will never own a “Kindle” or any other electronic ‘reader’. Reading a book brings all the senses into play. There is nothing like holding a book in your hands, feeling the weight. Hearing the pages turn. Smelling the paper and if you are lucky, a leather cover. Seeing the written word in a way that goes back thru history. One even tastes, as a finger is licked to turn the next page.

Brown Puppy and the Falling Star: one of my favorite books back in those baby days. Years ago my Mom tracked down a copy (pre-internet) and gave it to me for my birthday. It’s one of my favorite gifts. Hmmmm… I think I need to locate a copy for Little Bird and Little Hoss.

Bonsai: I’ve always admired these miniaturized trees. A couple years ago I had the opportunity to join an (almost) local bonsai club. It is so fascinating! I’m still working with the “easy” trees… elms, maples, junipers and cypress. One of my 50 Before 50 goals is to show a tree that I have shaped.

Beading: Jewelry making is one of my hobbies. I particularly like real stone/mineral beads and blown glass beads. When I travel I try to pick up unusual handmade beads… even if I have to buy a ‘trinket’ necklace and take it apart. When we were in Kenya I was able to buy several bags of the famous Kazuri beads. They are handmade clay beads produced at a women’s co-op.

Best Friend: Our friendship is one of those “who would have thought it” friendships. We just clicked and over time have become family to each other.
We are definitely ying and yang but those differences complement each other.

Bible: My instruction manual, my wisdom, my love letter from God. ‘Nuf said.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Hero for Today: A SW Airline Pilot and SW Airlines

I love it when I find stories of those who go beyond the normal, showing great compassion, courage or giving.

Here's one of those stories:

(CNN) -- Time was running out, and Mark Dickinson wasn't sure whether he'd get to see his dying 2-year-old grandson one last time. A long line at Los Angeles International Airport's security checkpoint had kept him from getting to his gate on time.

His grandson Caden would be taken off life support in a matter of hours in Denver, Colorado, with or without his grandfather's presence, according to CNN affiliate KABC.

"I was kind of panicking because I was running late, and I really thought I wasn't going to make the flight," Dickinson told KABC.

That's when a pilot from Southwest Airlines stepped up and held the flight at the gate until Dickinson arrived. The pilot was standing by the jetway waiting for him when Dickinson arrived in socks, so rushed that he just grabbed his shoes at security and ran through the terminal.

"I told him, 'Thank you so much. I can't tell you how much I appreciated that.' And he said, 'No problem. They can't leave without me anyway,' " Dickinson told KABC.

Authorities say Dickinson's grandson, Caden Rodgers, suffered a head injury after his mother's boyfriend threw him across the room. The boyfriend reportedly told police he was drunk and high on marijuana at the time. The child later died and the boyfriend has been charged with first-degree murder, according to the Aurora Sentinel.

Dickinson's wife had called Southwest and asked them to hold the plane. After the flight, Dickinson said, he wanted to thank the pilot again for his serious display of empathy but didn't get the chance. Dickinson made it to Colorado in time to say goodbye to his grandson.

"I would just tell him that I can't tell him how grateful I am that he did that for me," he said.

Most airlines would punish any staff member who holds up a flight, according to consumer advocate Christopher Elliott, who broke the story of the compassionate pilot on his blog. However, a Southwest spokeswoman said the pilot's actions were exemplary.

"You can't hold a plane for every late customer, but I think we would all agree that these were extenuating circumstances and the pilot absolutely made the right decision," Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said. "I don't think you could ask for a better example of great service for our customers."

Though the airline has identified the pilot who held the plane for Dickinson, the pilot has asked that his name not be released to the public.

"As you're reading the story, you absolutely get tears in your eyes and just an overwhelming sense of pride that our pilot took such an action," McInnis said. "It really makes you proud to work for Southwest."

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Another note from "Lifestyles of the Rich and Spoiled":

NEW YORK (AP) — Martha Stewart isn't likely to whisper sweet nothings into her dozing dog's ear anytime again soon.

The 69-year-old lifestyle guru wrote on her blog Thursday that she needed stitches after startling her dog Francesca while leaning down to "whisper goodbye." The dog jumped up and rammed into Stewart.

She writes that she "felt a bit of whiplash as blood gushed" from her split lip Tuesday night.

She initially called police to ask for a ride to the hospital but realized her driver was waiting to drive her from her home in the suburbs to New York City for a "Today" show appearance.

>>>  >>>  >>>  >>> 

I thought one was to call an ambulance when needing a ride to the hospital... 

Thursday, January 13, 2011


My photography club has an exhibit downtown during the month of January. The theme is “shadows”.

There were so many possibilities going thru my head, I really had a difficult time trying to decide what I wanted to do. That is… until I saw what was to be my first image and I knew what my personal theme for the show would be… “Shadow of the Past”.

~Shadows of the Past~
Harness the Wind

This is that first image. It is along the road in SE Iowa. I knew immediately I wanted that shot! Himself turned the truck around and I took about 5 or 6 shots. I like because reminds me of the old windmill that used to be on Himself’s family homestead farm in North Dakota.

~Shadow of the Past~
Life Giver

This image just fit so perfectly with the first. This was taken in western Wisconsin. The well pump is such a strong symbol… life giving water, the Well of Living Water, or even the pump that helped bring the child Helen Keller to living her life fully.

~Shadow of the Past~
Prairie Thunder

I took this shot at the bison ranch we visited in north central Iowa. For a few minutes while we were feeding the bison, the only sounds were the wind in the grass, the deep deep breaths of the bison and the sound of them walking around. Even tho there were only about 20, when several were moving at the same time… it was loud. I thought about what it must have been like when they numbered 40 million. They were called a “black ocean”. The sound must have been incredible.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monster Mash

Another life experience checked off my list… even tho it wasn’t on my list in the first place!  The Pirates and I went to “Monster Truck Jam”. 

Oh. My. Goodness.

We arrived a half hour before the doors opened (2.5 hours before the show started) so we could go to the “pit party”. This is where spectators can go down on the floor and look at everything. The trucks all out there with their drivers giving autographs.

There were HUNDREDS of people crowded in the vestibule of the arena trying to get out of the 20*F cold.  When the doors opened… they only opened one of six!!!  The crush was scary!!! 

We headed straight down to the ‘pit party’ and for a while there were very few people. 

The boys started gathering their autographs…  (Monster Mutt)

And getting their photos taken.  (Grave Digger)

They were able to get every one.  (Prowler)

It was fun seeing the trucks up close.  Some were quite imaginative.  (Monster Mutt)

The paint jobs were fantastic.

The eye of the tiger!  (Prowler)

Tires bigger than an 11 year old…

… so they could roll over these.
The boys finished looking around and we picked up our souvenirs (to avoid the mobs later). By the time we left it was really starting to pack up on the floor.
Our seats were way up in the top tier. At first I thought it wasn’t that good of a place. But we did have a great view. And it got us above most of the exhaust smoke (I hadn’t even thought of that – it was BAD). The truck noise wasn’t too bad but we needed ear plugs for the screaming rock music and commercials that played nonstop.

I was totally clueless when I walked thru the doors, and frankly still was when I left. There were all sorts of videos playing of monster trucks doing their thing. Apparently those videos are the “best of the best” because it was nothing like the evening. There was a lot of dead time where nothing happened or they had little ATV races or little kiddies trying to race go-carts. Definitely not what I was expecting.

The boys said it was better when it was done outside. They could go faster and jump higher. (And the exhaust wouldn’t be trapped in there with you!)

(Blue Thunder)

(Monster Mutt)

(Grave Digger)

The blue haze in the above photos was the truck exhuast!

Afterwards I told Pirate 1 that the mid-70s was the beginning of the “monster truck” thing and the famous Big Foot was from the area I grew up in. And it was the off-shoot of what a lot of people were doing back then… jacking up their trucks as high as they could get them. Bragging rights came with how many rungs were needed on the welded on stepladder under the doors (our neighbor had a 3 rung truck). This was the era where they put up the “you can drive that one the public roads” laws too.

There were some crazy things on the road back then.

Hmmmmmm…. doesn’t seem like much has changed…

News Flash!!!

The blogger I spoke of whose child was being threatened...


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Indoor Winter Wonderland

I’ve decided to start doing a wee bit of seasonal decorating. Although I like the look and think it’s fun, I also like my things I have out all the time. When I put out my Christmas things this year, I pulled some that are more “winter” than “Christmas”. Now that Christmas is put away, I’ll put out these snowmen and ‘snowy’ decorations for a month. They’ll make a nice start to the year.

So I’ve picked a few areas throughout the house I will use from now on:

The fireplace hearth.

The table at the back of our couch. 

The top of my little desk. 

The vase I moved into the hall bathroom.

And the opposite corner of the bathroom.

I had a lot more fun decorating than I thought I would! Now I have to start planning for NEXT month.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Word of Warning

Every so often we are reminded that the world is not a safe place. That there are sick people out there who desire to hurt.

There is someone whose blog I’ve been following for quite a while that has had this reality driven home. This blogger has 2 young (tween age) daughters; one who is a talented performer. There have been posts written about what she is up to. And has attracted the attention of an online pervert who has started leaving horrible graphic messages of what he would like to do to this young girl.

The blogger has contacted all the authorities and I pray this evil person is caught before anything happens.

But the fact that this blogger has always used their full name and the names of their children and where they live, makes one wonder if the stalker already knew of the family or found them thru the blog posts.

And that unknowing has caused me to make changes to how I will do my blogs from now on. One of those changes is I’ve removed the names of my niece and nephew. From now one she will be “Little Bird” and he will be “Little Hoss”.

And I will much more careful of what I write in the future.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My "Best" Shots of 2010

Beth over at "I Should Be Folding Laundry" put up a photo challenge for our 10 best photos of 2010.  "Best" is a subjective term.  A photo that is technically perfect may not be the one that leaves you most satisfied  Maybe it's the imperfect one that stirs your emotions and memories "best".

"The Shack"
This old house is up the hill from us.  I really like the way the snow made certain details stand out.

"Icy Lace"
The dusting of very dry snow was unusual for this area.  It blew like dust in the breeze.  Our snows are normally wet ones... perfect for snowballs.

"Fern Study"
The light was perfect.  It was one of those images begging to be captured.

"Feeling Blue"
This turkey hen is one of many who visit our yard.  They are so spooky it's hard to get a good photo.

"Carmen's House"
Watching the progression from egg to ugly baby birds to cute baby birds was fun.  And as soon as they were fledged... the shoe was moved!

"Welcome Sweet Baby"
A one-handed shot taken as I held my new nephew (hours old) for the first time!

"Little Bird's First Pony"
And my sweet niece turned 1 this year.  The pony is her birthday gift from us.

"Garden Pearls"
Living so close to the river, we often have fog.  This web was completely covered with droplets.

"The Crab Boil"
This is one of those "imperfect best" photos.  My family had a crab boil for Himself's birthday celebration.  Great memories of laughter and sharing.

"Farm Guardian"
Taken on our trip to MN and WI.  A family member's good ol' dog keeping an eye on their home.  One of many memories gathered as we visited the "senior delegation".