Saturday, July 9, 2011

Looking Up - Colors of the Sky

Last night it rained at the Hershberger farmstead.  We had a brief thunderstorm, then the rain fell for over an hour afterward.  I'm not sure when it stopped but for a while we had the kind of rain that makes a continuous pattering sound as it hits the leaves on the tree outside our living room window.  It's a different, gentler sound than when its rebounding off the deck or off pavement.  It's one of my favorite sounds.

Today the sky is a beautiful bright blue, the blue that you only get after a good rain.  After the rain has cleaned the dust and pollen and tree seeds and all the other stuff that gets transported by the winds out here.  

When we were on vacation in Oklahoma the temps were in the 100's almost every day.  The sky took on a milky cast even when there were no clouds in the sky.  I guess it has something to do with the heat radiating from the ground and making the sky look a steely blue. 

And I love clouds.  I have for as long as I can remember.  I pay attention to the clouds.  Today they're large and fluffy, like giant puffs of pillow stuffing.  My favorite clouds are the ones that look like cotton balls all over the sky.  And the towering, menacing ones that signal the build up of a severe thunderstorm--the anvil clouds.  Cumulonimbus I think they're called.  But I love all of the variations of cumulus clouds.

Look up.  What does the sky over you look like today?  What kind of clouds do you see?  Paint me a picture of what you see...with words.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Summer Experiment

This summer Mr. Darcy and I are going to watch our weight.  We'd actually like to watch it decrease for a change.  So, one of the things we're doing is having our big meal at lunch rather than dinner.  Today was the first time we tried this experiment.  With mixed results (and I'm not talking about the scale at the moment).

Jay grilled salmon and I sauteed some fresh zucchini in olive oil with garlic and onion until it was crisp/tender, added some sliced tomatoes and covered it with mozzarella cheese.  Then I cut up a pineapple and a cantaloupe and served it on the side since my girls don't do zucchini.  They also believe fish is delicious as long as it's followed immediately by the word sticks. 

Jillian arrived at the table looking pained with her hand clamped over her nose and breathing through her mouth.  Not a good sign.  Julie is more open-minded about food.  She only looked warily at the salmon before sitting slowly down.  

Since they were both hungry, and Jillian was hoping to talk us into a sleepover tonight, they gamely ate some of their filet before proclaiming that they were full.  The chickens enjoyed the rest of their meals.  

Tonight at dinner Mr. Darcy and I will enjoy a fresh salad straight from the garden.  Stay tuned for further developments.  ;-D 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Amy's Corn Salsa

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 can of chopped olives
1 large can of chopped green chilies
1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced (can use chopped onions if preferred)
Chopped cilantro to taste
A cup of shredded Colby Jack or cheddar cheese
A can of black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup of Italian dressing
1 t. of garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ t. of cumin

Mix together and serve with tortilla chips for dipping.  (Note: I used Taco Doritos...yum!)  Makes several cups depending on the size of the Roma tomatoes. 

A Night in the Country

Last night we returned home after watching fireworks in Moorhead (rescheduled due to an amazing storm on the 4th).  After getting everyone inside for the night (which involves opening and closing the doors numerous times) I go into hunter mode.  My weapon of choice is a Pampered Chef fly-swatter and I'm relentless.

Here's how it went:  

Now, I'll admit that I go a little beserk about mosquitoes in my house.  It's a form of self-preservation.  Mosquitoes LOVE me.  I don't know how many times I've been awakened in the middle of the night by the unmistakeable buzz of a mosquito coming in for a landing...and a midnight snack.  This never happens to Jay directly.  He suffers indirectly when I lurch upright from a dead sleep swinging madly at the air in front of me, slapping my head, and frantically begging him to turn on the light so I can find the little bloodsucker.

Anyway, last night I circled the rooms of our home with the bug swatter in hand.  I'd killed about 20 mosquitoes while Jay sat at his laptop at the kitchen table catching up on all the important developments of the day.  When he'd finished he got up and started to walk toward the back of the house.  Almost immediately I hear a loud clap and a "Got cha!"  (Jay never does anything calmly that can be done with gusto and relish.)  He's very proud of his kill (probably thinking that maybe that was the mosquito that would have awakened me--and therefore him--in the night) and off he goes.  

Having found all of the mosquitoes that I think are in the house, I sit down to check my Facebook and end up killing the remaining million or so mosquitoes that I'd missed and who came to find me as soon as I sat my bug swatter down.  All of this is WITH mosquito repellent on!  Did I mention that mosquitoes love me?  

Myrna's Grape Salad

Mix together:

8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Gently stir in:

4 cups white grapes
5 cups red grapes

Refrigerate.  Stores well.