Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm Hungry!

Came home from school hungry as usual. The cold wind the weatherman promised arrived. I need comfort food! NOW!

MMM! Chicken fried steak would hit the spot! I'm craving it but have nary a steak in the house nor enough gumption to head to the store or even to a restaurant.

This plate of culinary delight hails from Chester's in Branson. Chester's is a local Branson dive that actually has good food.
(normally we have to eat at chains in Branson to get good food)

I wonder if the chef is from the south because the beans are so well seasoned. They sure don't taste like Missouri beans. Real potatoes and gravy. But the steak is the star: real steak and perfectly crisp crust!

I've been on a quest for the best chicken fried steak for the last two years: Chester's is the best in the homestyle category so far.

Wish I could teleport to Chester's right now!!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Workin' off da bad mojo...

Today, my school lunch fortune cookie stated: You will overcome difficult times.... Yep, very apropros.

So far:
1. A week of the kidney stone from hell!

2. Washing machine flooded the floor.... and on one of my more painful days too. Believe me, it is not fun sucking up water with a vac when one has jabbing kidney pains!

3. Blueflash is stuck stock still in the muck... still stuck after two days. Thank goodness for BigRed, he saved the day!

4. This morning, two well fed collared canines strewed our trash everywhere down by the road... so aggravating!

Honking didn't phase them so I got out and performed my 'git outta here' schtick... until those dogs were plumb outta sight. Kinda comical in retrospect. The cow dog hightailed it quickly up the hill back home. Took the poor old basset hound forever to cover the same ground.
Old Bassett ambled about 30 ft then stopped to gaze sadly back... I hollered... he ambled a little farther then gazed sadly and longingly back... I hollered... he ambled then gazed back... I hollered... he ambled and gazed... I hollered... he ambled... over and over... and all the while Talon was shouting from the truck: Don't be mean to the cute dogs!!

Here's hoping all my bad karma has been worked out... and I don't even know what I did!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Cookies

Pretty enough for a tea party!
Yum! These cookies are tasty! Sweet with little zings of cranberry goodness.

Found the recipe in the Oklahoma Farmer and Rancher newspaper. The cookie dough is just a basic shortning type dough with 2 cups of chopped fresh cranberries (frz should work too) mixed in. I used a food processor for a finer chop. I did try with a knife first but it was too difficult. Cranberries went flying everywhere!

After the baked cookies cool, dip them in your favorite melted chocolate and coat with chopped nuts. I added a dab of butter to the chocolate and I pressed the nuts in so they would stick better.

Since this was the experimental first batch, I left half plain. We took the less messy plain ones to eat on a roadtrip; Talon and I couldn't stop eating them.
We (even Talon) actually prefer them plain since too much chocolate overwhelms the delicate taste of the cookies---- but we gobbled the chocolate ones too.

Next time, for speed and convenience, I plan to add finely chopped nuts to the dough and maybe a small amount of mini chocolate chips. I'll save the chocolate dipping business for a special occasion.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Multipurpose Canoe...

Jim's canoe gets a lot of use even though it hasn't been tagged in 24 years.

What fantastic fishing trips Talon and I (and Gram) have been on in this canoe! Talon catches delicious rainbow fish, red headed fish, catfish, tuna and a few old boots and tires too. We cook and eat the fish right away: Talon insists.

Only a sturdy canoe could survive hurricanes and shark attacks!

During the monsoon summer of 2008, the canoe doubled as a wading pool.
A redneck wading pool, that is.

What a little imp!

And during the artic blast of 2010...
it became a mini ice rink!

We waited till the temp warmed to 22 to go out and frolic but still could only stay out a few minutes at a time. Way Way too cold for humans--- made our skin hurt.

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Sweet Boy...

Talon has been very sweet during my sick week.

On one of my more painful days, anytime I started to do something (like use the pill cutter ect), Talon would say: No, allow me. Then, he did the job. Don't know where he learned that phrase.

Another time, I was sitting all wrapped in a blanket. After getting up to help Talon with something, he said: Now, you can go back to your snugly cocoon! Pin It

Monday, January 11, 2010

Twof Place!

Talon is wild about his xbox racing game. He constantly runs to tell us his place. Sometimes he gets first or third place but usually it is fourth or fifth place. Just now Talon ran in shouting: Guess what! I got twof place!

He substitutes an /f/ sound for /th/ so I'm used to hearing 'fird', 'fourf' and 'fif' but 'twof'... I was completely overcome by the cuteness.

I did, however, explain that the correct word was 'second'.
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Fancy Cocoa

Talon likes to drink cocoa out of fancy glasses... and I didn't even have any marshmallows for floating...

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Frisbee Bread Toss

Decided to throw bread scraps out to our home birdies. The temp warmed up to 22 but still way too cold to feed ducks at the lake! Those ducks will just have to scrounge for themselves.

We also put out the seed feeders. The home birdies certainly appreciated it.
Usually it takes a day or so for them to find the food but when we peeked out the window a couple of minutes later the birds were feasting.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010


Talon is enthralled with tv commercials.

Today he ran in exclaiming: We've got to eat at IHOG!
I thought I knew the restaurant he meant but I asked: Why do we need to eat there?
Talon said: because they are bringing back all you can eat pancakes!

Yep, it was IHOP. Don't know how he misheard it as IHOG but with all you can eat pancakes that is certainly a better name!
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Gram & Talon

So fun editing photos. Makes me feel like an artist. Which is your favorite?

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Better Ice Storm of 2009

Having electricity for the duration (minus 30 minutes) gave us a whole new perspective of ice storms. Not so bad after all but we'd rather not have another one in 2010 or 2011 or 2012 or...

Now that's an icicle!

Unbelievable... and they pop right back up...

Poor birdies.... I had to chip some ice out so the seeds would flow.

Ice perch... brrr!

Talon's makeshift sled


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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Great and Terrible Icestorm of 2007

Since most of the US is experiencing the coldest artic blast since 1996, I thought I would post some pictures of the 2007 icestorm.

We'll never forget this one! Six days without power! For us that meant no lights, heat, water, cooking, or flushing. Thank goodness for the fireplace! The house was still painfully cold but the food cooked in the fireplace was absolutely delicious.

Once the roads were clear, we spent days at the library, Pizza Hut and Walmart: which ever had power at the time. We still laugh about going in Walmart looking like refugees wearing the same mismatched multiple layers of clothes day after day. Of course, we scrambled for the piles of batteries and water ect along with all the other refugees!

If it hadn't been so cold, it would have been interesting living like the early settlers for a bit. Playing guessing games after dark was fun the first 3 evenings until our brains got too cold to think.

I'm so thankful to live in modern times!!

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Evolution of a Puddle...

Talon loves playing in puddles and, believe me, we are loaded with them. This is the best one. It is large and gets more shade so water, mud or ice lasts longer.

Going Mudding...

Squishy, Squoushy, Squash...

Frozen solid! Aren't the swirls interesting? I thought it would crack when walked on but it's thicker than it looks.

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Friday, January 1, 2010


While we were waiting in the car, Talon spotted these birds in the convenience store sign. That boy has great eyesight!

Talon shouted several times: Take a picture of the bird!
I said: Where, Where??
Talon said: In the e!
Finally, I saw it! There are actually two birds. One is on the s.

Isn't it cute!
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