Friday, March 25, 2011

Talon's Tulip

Talon planted a red and white tulip in February and it started blooming last Sunday.

Still mostly closed in the morning...

By afternoon, the petals opened...

Isn't spring glorious!

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Buffalo Hunt!

Last week, Gram had just bought Talon a toy bow and arrow set at Walmart and guess what our favorite antique store had out front?!  A teepee and fake buffalo!  Of course, Talon had to play buffalo hunt. We were going in the store anyway-- we didn't stop just for blog fodder. 


Aiming... Will we have buffalo burgers for supper?

Nope, don't think Mr. Buffalo has anything to worry about...
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Make Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

Winter has been hanging on tooth and nail this week so thought I would share one of my favorite soup recipes.

 Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden

Have you ever ordered it?  Creamy with potatoes, Italian sausage,  kale and a bit of spice but not heavy.  Perfect for a chilly early spring day.

Here is what you will need...


Brown and crumble sausage; drain.

While sausage is browning:
Chop onion
Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic
peel and slice potatoes (1/4 in slice); If you have new potatoes leave the peel on
Wash kale; strip leaves from stem and chop

Saute onion  in a bit of olive oil or butter until tender; add garlic
add sausage
add two cans of chicken stock
add water to suit

add salt to taste

optional: add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or to taste.  If you use a spicy sausage, omit the flakes.

add potatoes and bring to a boil then lower to simmer

 cook until tender-- 7-10 minutes. keep checking. you don't want the potatoes to fall apart. sliced potatoes cook fast.

add the kale

add 2 cups of cream more or less-- more is better!

Top with parmesan cheese and/or fresh crispy fried bacon pieces!

Yum! Now that is larapin!

If you are familiar with zuppa toscana at Olive Garden, you might wonder why mine has lots more kale than theirs.  Olive Garden is so stingy with the kale.  I love kale so load mine up.  That is what is great about making it at home-- you can make it to suit your taste. 

Mine is vastly superior to Olive Garden's and yours will be too!


If you have any questions, just ask.

About the sausage
Back in the 30s, a community of Italian immigrants settled in SE Oklahoma to work the coal mines.

Families opened businesses, bakeries and restaurants.  Some brewed choc beer

The Lovera family opened Lovera's Market and became famous for making cheeses and sausages.   The family still operates out of  the original store. It is a blast from the past! 

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How to Improve Your Fashion Photo Shoot: Tips for Amateurs

So I'm not a fashion blogger.  But I do wear clothes.  And I do the odd style post now and again. Hey, no 'odd' style cracks.  You know I mean randomly occasional! 

I dabble in just about anything that tickles my fancy so after seeing the fantabulosity of  Izzy's fashion blog (she is also a co-blogger on my bookblog), I decided to go for more artsy style shots!  Ha!  Hahahahhaha  Silly me! What was I thinking?!

 Izzy makes it look effortless but getting an acceptable shot is tougher than it looks! 

Look at this: hair blowing in my nose, bra strap showing, necklace askew, sweater bunched here and there!
Pitiful! Don't know if an entire crew could've salvaged this one! But I need people, I tell you, people! 

It was fun though and as goofy as most of the photos turned out, they are still more interesting than my usual frozen staring straight at the camera smile. 

That is a trick I learned from Izzy:

Don't smile into the camera!

Darn necklace is still askew! But I'm not looking at the camera!

The next time you thumb through a fashion mag, pay attention to the models. Very few smiles and they usually look away from the camera. And they are usually snapped  lolling about or moving in some bizarrely interesting way.

Another trick I learned from Izzy: 

Focus on one part of the outfit or model!

Love the ruffled tops of these suede boots!

A photo of a shoe or necklace or collar or eye or hand or lips can be much more dramatic and interesting than the outfit or body as a whole. And highlighting one interesting element in an artsy way means less pleasing parts aren't on display! ;o)  

My five year boy is the photographer for this shot.  The lighting and sharpness could be better but it is still one of my faves from this photo shoot.  The breeze blown skirt and fringe adds a little pizzaz, don't you think.

Wedge heels are the best!  At least for those of us who need stability! ;o)

Photo shoots are silly and fun. Try one! 

And don't be afraid to experiment .

a.n.a. sweater    Ann Taylor Loft skirt   Soho Lab boots   Wilson's Leather purse    

'I have no clue' tights and necklace
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is Knocking on the Door!

It is still officially winter but it looks more like spring everyday.

 Wednesday, I took a photo of a cluster of  ornamental pear buds.  Along with daffodils, the ornamental pear trees are one of the first heralds of spring. They only bloom about two weeks but it is a glorious two weeks. Each tree looks like a huge puff ball.

Thursday, a few buds started to bloom... isn't it pretty.  Won't be long till full bloom!

Last week, I posted the first daffodils in the garden. This week, my little boy spotted the first naturalised clump blooming in the field.

These early birds are petite blooms-- aproximately the diameter of a quarter. Not as showy as their larger cousins but still they are sweet little flowers.

We found a petite yellow one too. A bit misshapen but we don't mind-- Spring is knocking on the door!
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Car Show Couture!

A couple of weeks ago,  We attended the Darryl Starbird Custom Car Show and Monster Truck Races again. Yes, again. Don't worry-- I always manage to amuse myself.

At the fall car show (yes, we go to more than one), it was cars and canines.

This time it is car show couture!

On the way, we stopped at our favorite Boomarang Diner for lunch and I snapped a photo of my two goofy goobers wearing matching car show shirts from the 2009 Fall Foliage Cruise.

Of course, I said: Ya'll are so dorky!! Cute but dorky!!

Guess what I spotted as soon as I walked into the Expo?  Hotrod and car shirts galore!!

Too funny! Did you know that some men theme their attire to the event? 

Not all the attendees had on car shirts.  Only the serious custom car enthusiasts, I suppose. Or maybe just the dorkiest! haha

Here are few to illustrate:

This is the only gal I spotted. Her guy has one on too--  That is him with the blond ponytail. How sweet that they  share common interests.

The car show couture ranged from really tacky...
Isn't he a prize, girls!

To relatively classy...

Aww, cute and spiffy!

To show you what a lucky girl I am,  check this out:

Redneck at Monster Truck Races:  It's still too loud, ya'll!

Got me a winner, girls!!

To see redneck chic, check out my earplug post from the monster truck races last year: The Color Purple
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Quarter Midget Racing

Talon discovered his sport! Quarter Midget Racing!  It is a competitve sport for kids age 5-16.  These aren't go-carts-- they are 1/4 size midget race cars with full roll cages.  They are also very expensive.

Mom and Dad thinks Talon needs to practice driving his little battery powered Mustang around the park a bit more before getting behind the wheel of a race car-- even a midget sized racecar.   

Talon tends to get distracted and veer off the road!
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Sew Fine Hotrod!

 Spotted at the car show! I didn't take many photos of cars this year-- this one stood out of the crowd though...
Don't like the color but the shape is curvy and cool! Who would paint a hotrod blah brown?!

What made me laugh is the graphic painted on the side: Sew Fine

Is the owner handy with a needle? Then I thought of my friend DeLynne who amazes me with her sewing skill. She can make a bra with underwires that looks storebought,  for heaven's sake!

DeLynne needs a Sew Fine hotrod for cruising around the rainforest. Bet hers wouldn't be blah brown!

Now this is more like it! 

 A pearly mauve-- Striking and pretty! 

some of my other fave hotrod colors are: red, turquoise, pink, purple, and pearl white. And anything with flames or sparkle, pearl or flipflop paint. 

What is your favorite hotrod color?

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Monster Truck Ride!

A couple of weeks ago, we attended the Daryl Starbird Custom Car Show and Monster Truck Show again!
Yes, again. It is held every February and Talon started planning to go last October

Talon loves it! Jim loves it! I tolerate it!  Ha! Actually, I do like it but every year is too much--- once every five years would suit me.  (I need to remember to take a book)

Last year, I rode with Talon in the monster truck. This year Jim had a turn...

Calmly climbing up...

Roaring around the track! Hang on!

What a wild ride! Talon is ready to go again! Jim may be a bit queasy from all the donuts. He didn't eat to many donuts the truck did lots of donuts!
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