Sunday, February 28, 2010

things I love about winter

Today is the last day of February. March means spring is getting closer. I know it has been a tough winter but there are special things about winter time that I do like.

Oranges. This is their peak time. Taking the time to peel an orange & enjoy the citrus smell is a treat in itself. The color is refreshing during the winter blahs. And the sweet & juicy flavor is worth savoring.

My electric blanket. I held off using it earlier this winter & finally gave in. Last winter when I used it I was plagued with hot flashes. I was either too hot with it on then too cold when I threw it off. Not a problem this winter! I look forward to crawling into a prewarmed bed at night & just soaking up the heat.

Wool neck scarves. I have a couple. Actually lost my pink scarf & haven't found it yet. Have a couple on my knitting needles that I need to finish. But it's fun to have a variety of colors & lengths.

Baking. I do bake year round but during the winter it is another way to heat up the house & make it more homey. During the summer I have to decide if that extra heat is worth it. I came across a recipe for a vanilla cake that I recently tried. It's pretty good! You can check it out here to see the recipe.

So for all of you that HATE winter I hope you can find something to like about it too.

Friday, February 26, 2010

49 years

Also today I wanted to acknowledge Carolyn & Art's 49th wedding anniversary (Art is Don's father). They were married in Omaha & initially lived in Lincoln. Now they live in Texas. The most recent photo I have of them I took a couple of years ago & posted last fall for their birthdays. Don will be traveling to Texas in May for a conference. I am planning to go with him & I'll get to visit with them then.

Happy Birthday, Kendall!

Kendall (Gene & Jean's youngest) is shown here with his cousin, Krista, in dad's kitchen last summer. I don't get to see him a great deal but he is always fun to hang out with. I admire his strength & his quick smile, despite all he's been through.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

aunt Norma

Today I finally took the time to visit my aunt Norma (we used to call her Lorene, her middle name, when I was growing up) who is mom's older sister. In fact, Norma turned 90 last month! Four days a week she volunteers at the state capitol at the information desk. She also volunteers at Bennett Martin library every week shelving books. She's fun to visit with & I picked a busy day at the capitol. The legislature is in session & this afternoon the senators were having committee meetings regarding abortion & providing health care to the children of illegal immigrants. Plus school children were there for tours. Norma was kept busy but handled it all with ease.

One of the perks of visiting Norma is that I see physical resemblances to my mom & especially my grandmother in her.

From Norma's vantage point at the information desk she has four hallways to look down. They are similar but different. The lighting was fascinating so I photographed each hallway . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

solitary tree

northeast Nebraska

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

working the calves

Last spring when we were at the ranch for turkey season we happened to be there when they worked the calves. I'm not sure what ALL they do but it was fascinating to watch. I don't recall hanging around for this stuff when I was growing up on the farm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

omelet for two

I was channel surfing the other day & checked out the Food Network only to find Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, making this dish. It looked so good! So when Don & I stopped at Walmart after the bike show on Saturday & I found Yukon potatoes I bought some. I made this for supper last night & it tastes as good as it looks. I doubled the recipe & used my cast iron skillet. I substituted a serrano chili for the jalapeno. The potatoes took longer to cook than she says & I finally put a lid on the skillet to speed it up a bit. You want to make sure they're done before pouring the eggs over the top. I also substituted some "Husker" cheese since I didn't have chunks of cheddar. Served it with some fresh fruit. I may even try it without the bacon. It's the kind of recipe where you can make some substitutions according to what you have on hand. This one's a keeper. Click here for her recipe.

I was ready to eat it without the eggs . . .

Sunday, February 21, 2010

bike show

Don & I went to the annual bike show yesterday at the Lancaster County Event Center on 84th street. It was something to do on another snowy weekend (with more snow in the forecast.) Lots of new & old bikes to admire.

This year they had a 60's theme.

This is a photo of Janis Joplin on the back of an album cover. Great photo!

Someone had taken the time to make this huge poster collage. It was interesting.

What I mostly enjoyed though was taking photos of motorcycle parts . . .

I see this guy every year at the bike show.

I had to photograph this light because it reminds me of the light we'd shine on our silver Christmas tree every year. The color wheel turns slowly & changes the color of the tree from green to red to blue . . .

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Today is Daniel's birthday. He & Austin were both born in Sacramento, California. Mom came out when Daniel was born so she could watch Austin (she was also there to help me when Austin was born). I think she'd been with us about two weeks & still no Daniel. Finally he showed up before she had to leave. She was a great help for me with two little ones. If you know Austin & Daniel you may be surprised to know they weighed the same at birth . . . 8# 1.5 ounces!

Today Daniel lives at home while attending UN-L. This is his 4th year. I expect it'll be another year or more. He is majoring in International Business & this past year added Accounting (pun intended!). He has a part time job on campus. Occasionally walks the dogs. Lets me take photos of him for my class. These photos were taken Monday evening in front of Barnes & Noble bookstore along O street. The shutter speed is six seconds. It was pretty cold out there so I don't blame him for not smiling. Thanks, Daniel!

Friday, February 19, 2010

old Ford tractor

This rusty tractor sits along the fence line inside the pasture within sight of the house up at the ranch. I took these photos last spring as the weeds were making their annual growth up through the engine & tires. Tractors have so many interesting features to look at . . . seats, steering wheels, engines, tool boxes.

We used to have a neighbor, Emery, I finally took the time to get to know. After weeks of walking by & just waving I finally walked up & introduced myself & Jack. Jack got to the point where he headed to Emery's house when we walked by. I loved sitting with him & listening to his stories. Emery enjoyed sitting outside. He said that he'd spent so much time on a tractor when farming that he still enjoyed sitting outdoors. No tractor cabs for him. I can imagine him on this tractor.