Friday, October 30, 2015

Tonight's dinner...

As it has been cool , rainy and obviously cloudy all day, I decided to make DH's favorite soup for dinner.  It's a recipe from his mom, known around here as Italian Soup (pronounced Eye-talian).

It's hearty and easy to make, and around here, it's quite popular.  I'm serving it with some cheap bolillo rolls from the grocery (4/$1).

1# ground beef
1 med/lg diced onion
3 stalks celery sliced
1 or 2 cups carrots sliced
2 cloves garlic diced
1 16oz can diced tomatoes (or fresh if you have them)
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 15oz can undrained small red beans (I hate kidney beans so I use these instead)
2 cans beef broth (or 2 cans water and 5 tsp bouillon granules)
1T dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2c shredded cabbage
1 can 15oz green beans (or frozen or fresh if you prefer)
1/2c elbow macaroni (best if you precook it)

Brown the beef in your big soup pot and drain it. Then add all the remaining items EXCEPT cabbage, green beans and macaroni.  Bring it to a boil, and simmer until veggies are tender.  You can add water and bouillon as needed to taste.  10min before you serve it, add the cabbage, green beans and macaroni.

Serve with bread (garlic bread is great with this!)

You can play around with the amount of spices to suit your taste, or substitute ground turkey for the beef, but it won't taste the same.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

My favorite time of year

I think, if forced to choose a favorite season, it would be Fall.  Growing up in the Midwest, summer, though welcome, tends to be too hot and humid to be truly enjoyable, though the body does adapt.  Spring, well everyone seems to welcome the sight of new green after the long cold of Winter.  But it seems a bit more volatile, weatherwise, and sometimes it feels like Spring is a victim of its own popularity.  Winter, well, as a kid there's never enough snow, and as an adult there is far too much snow and ice!
Of course, now that my metabolism has come back from its decades long vacation to Aruba (thank God for T3 supplements!) winter has lost some of its bite.  My feet no longer resemble blocks of ice on a daily basis despite wool socks and insulated boots indoors!
But Fall, now there is a season!  As we age, Fall reminds us of our own mortality, as the leaves turn color and fall to the littered ground.  I miss that shock of color from the maples in NE Kansas.  Down here in TX, the trees just do not 'do color' like the more northern hardwoods.  This is as good as the color gets in DFW.

It does tend to rain more in the fall in Texas, but that is not a bad thing usually...Of course if it's scheduled to rain on Halloween, like it is this year, well, I know a certain 3 Monkeys that would prefer it wait another day or two before that strange water begins to fall from the sky again.

Along with Fall comes Halloween, and the fun that can entail, especially with kids in the home.  The Monkeys have happily accepted our version of Halloween night, with costumes, movies, pizza and popcorn in return for them giving away candy to other peoples kids, and not going door to door themselves.  Then not long after, comes Thanksgiving.  We have a lot to be thankful for again this year, though we have certainly had our share of health issues and other stressors!

In addition to the above, Fall also generally begins the season known in Texas as No Air Conditioning Season.  Yes, usually the temps and humidity drop enough to turn off the A/C and open the windows.  Yay!  That in itself is almost enough to make Fall my favorite.

So there you have take on the seasons, and my personal favorite.  What is your favorite season, readers?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Winter is coming...2015

In past years, (2012, 2013)I have written on the concept of "winter is coming'.  If you read GRR Martin's Game of Thrones series, or watch the HBO version you should be familiar with the phrase.  And now, sadly, it seems we move even closer to David Weber's People's Republic of Haven (Honor Harrington series).

The Middle East is still a mess.  I never in my life thought I would respect Russia for stepping into Syria and attempting to help the lesser of the evils there.I had always thought we would be the ones to do that.  But no, we are actively supporting groups including ISIS/ISIL, Al Qaeda, and Hamas, while our same gov't is doing all it can to snub, embarrass, and potentially abandon Israel.

While Europe managed to prop Greece up for a bit longer, their financial houses are still in disarray.  And now they are beset with a glut of illegal immigrants from the Middle East.  I really can't help but think that Europe has suffered an invasion, especially if you look at what is happening over there. These are just a couple recent stories on the web.
German newspaper documents anti-migrant 'hate speech' on FACEBOOK... 


MPs 'drawing up plans' to close borders in challenge to Merkel...

Slovenia deploys army as thousands of migrants seek to transit...

And just in case you thought bad stuff only happened over there, Canada just fell to the Progressive Promises onslaught.  One can only hope they wise up faster than this country has...  Hey Bernie!  How ya gonna PAY for all that free $h!+ ?  Huh?

And I thought climate change (or wait, isn't it global warming?) was supposed to devastate us with massive hurricanes!  So why has it been 118 months, yes in 4 days from now it will have been exactly TEN YEARS since a major hurricane struck the USA.  Ten freaking years!   Oh and this winter we thankfully (at least here in TX we are thankful) we are to get a decent El Nino effect which means a wet winter and spring.  This particular cycle is shaping up to be a monster of its own, and the weatherguessers have dubbed it the Godzilla El Nino.

Hang on tight, my friends, it's going to be a bumpy ride for a while!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gee, ya think they're happy to have us back?

Yes, we boarded the hounds, aka the Three Musketeers, for the 2 weeks we were on vacation recently.  That vacation, lovely as it was, ended Saturday.  Yesterday we made the trip out to the Ranch to trade our trailer in, and  to reclaim our dogs.

We suspected they'd be happy to see us...we had no idea!  Now, understand that they love (except Shiloh) being at the Ranch.   They love Roy and Cindy almost as much as they love us.  The Ranch is the place where a dog  can be just a dog, doing doggie things, like ratting the fences and barking all day long at the other dogs just because they can.

When we got to the Ranch, we spotted Indy and Ranger in the back house-pen.  It took a second or two for them to realize it was us, and then they began to go totally ape!  Indy was jumping up and down and spinning in circles, while Ranger yowled and jumped.  We managed to force our way into the pen, as the dogs wanted to come OUT to see us.  After a minute or two Shiloh finally came around the corner to see what the fuss was.  Then she got into the act, barking and whining, yippiing contantly and wiggling!  It was a joyous reunion!

This morning, Ranger moved to the couch when DH got up, then Monkey3 lay down with him, and soon Indy joined them.  Gee, do you think they missed us?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Such fragile beauty

On a cool and foggy morning when the bass are not behaving, such fragile beauty can still be found if one only looks for it.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Biggest bass I've caught this week!  That's my size 10 womens shoe...he is bigger than my shoe!