Monday, April 29, 2013

All this and a bowl of Soup

 I was finally able to enjoy a walk around the lake this morning. Feeling under the weather for the last few days so I stayed rather close to home. But today was worth waiting for. This is one of the Blue Herons. He was looking for crawdads , very intently I may add.
 The Great White Herons were all out as well. This is at the other end of the lake. Not so many mud hens... not sure where they were.
 I caught this fine lady (actually it could be a fine gentleman for all I know, but it's my story SO) sipping water rather elegantly from the little stream that used to fill the lake. I was in awe of her neck. So long and not very big around. The ranger told me that the Herons eat the crawdads and little fish but are also known to enjoy a gopher and (plug your ears if you need to) baby ducks. I was considering just how a plump little gopher would fit down that throat. Hmmmmmmmmm.
 Just as I was about to take another shot she flew. Isn't this a cool photo. It's one of those that when you get home and look through them all your like" ALL RIGHT" Looks almost like ballet.At least to the untrained eye like mine.
 And this was the frosting on the cupcake. Momma, Daddy and the kids. We have been monitoring their nest for a really long time and finally we get to enjoy the babies. Look at that fat little leg stuck out like that!!!
 Momma just sat there preening and enjoying herself. Not a worry in the world. But that's because she knew Dad was right there in protection mode.
 I'm telling you as peaceful and serene as these guys look..... They can be really mean little buggers if given half a reason.
 Protecting their babies is definitely more then half a reason. I was surprised he let us get this close. It made my day.
 I want to share with you my all time favorite soup. I have always loved tomato soup and when the girls were little and it was cold and blustery I would make it for them with a nice gooey grilled cheese.
 I used to open up a can of Campbell's and add milk. but this recipe tastes just like it and is full of nothing but veggies.
 I serve it with a nice big green salad and an open faced turkey and cheese. SO delicious. The recipe follows. There are recipes online and I admit to using one the first time but I'm going to tell you how I make mine. Just because I can pretty much NEVER leave a recipe alone and thankfully I wrote this down as I went.
Homemade Tomato Parmesan Soup

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped butternut squash
2 cans organic diced tomatoes salt free
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups chicken broth or 4 cups water and chicken bouillon
2 cups fat free milk
a handful of sun dried tomatoes ( optional, I just have a big bag right now)
fresh chopped basil if you have it ( not really necessary)
Salt and pepper to taste
Stevia to taste if you want it a bit sweet like Campbell's which I do just to my bowl.
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Saute in the oil  the onion, celery, carrot and squash until the onions are translucent. Add the cans of tomatoes with juice and chicken broth or water( dried tomatoes and basil) and simmer until all the veggies are soft. I usually let mine cook for a few hours. If you want you could put it in the crockpot after sauteing. Transfer your soup a little at a time into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Put it back onto your soup pot and reheat until nice and warm, then add the Parmesan cheese and stir until it melts. Add milk. Salt, Pepper and Stevia to taste.
Serve immediately.
1 cup of this soup has a grand total of 2 power points plus if your on WW. That's hardly countable for such a hearty filling soup.
It makes quite a bit so I store the rest in quart jars in the fridge.
Enjoy. Please.... If you try this soup let me know in the comments how you like it and if you changed it  at all. 

I will leave you with this beautiful tulip. It is from the bouquet I showed you in my last post. It always amazes me how much God loves us. So much so that He gives us  beauty like this to enjoy every single day. That and taste buds.... Oh Boy am I grateful for my taste buds. Till next time then
Blessing, Sue

Friday, April 26, 2013


 If you have been reading my blog for long you already know how much I LOVE flowers. That's not really what I have to confess though. hahahahaha
 Even though my entire life my husband has brought me beautiful bouquets off and on, I decided that upon turning the big 50, and among the  MANY other things I've changed, is that I now buy myself flowers. As often as I possibly can and regularly.
 I bought these beautiful Gladiolus the other day and believe me the picture does not do them justice at all. The are gorgeous. A deep, brilliant garnet. And I learned that if you clip or snap off the first two buds at the top they have more energy to put into actually opening up. It works.... I also broke a promise to myself that I wouldn't buy any more "stuff" that I would just have to pack away shortly.  I just had to have this little white pitcher I found at Micheal's. It was 1/2 off. so whats the harm.And besides I needed something to display these sweet little tulips I found at Costco.
 My violet is re-blooming. This little gem has been the most blooming little thing I have ever had. Isn't she a show off. I love her.
 You can maybe see the pitcher a bit better in this photo. I made pizza last night for Dad and I. Oh My Gosh. I even put some of the wine in the sauce. hahahahaha
 This  morning I awoke to not being able to find my beloved cat, Ruth. and so to fill up my mind and time I decided that in between frantically calling her name and kitty kitty kitty, I would transplant all my violets into new pots and fresh soil. I put all my indoor herbs and shamrocks in the sink and gave them a big ol' drink of water and sprayed them down with a tad of dawn dishsoap in water. It seems that a family of white flies has moved in and they are just NOT welcome. I hope this takes care of shooing them away.
 Oh and look at Ophelia. Doesn't she just have the sweetest little face ever. She is my bantam hen and she gives me the yummiest little white egg every single morning.
 This is Hamlet. He is Ophelia's brother. We adopted them when they were just babies. Hamlet was beat up by the other siblings in their clutch and so Ophelia took care of him. Now though he is the MAN of the coop and keeps all the hens safe and fed. He thinks he is a toughie. hahahahahah
Dad just got home from buying all the tiling supplies. The tile guy comes Monday to finish off the bathroom. Looks like we will be making our goal of putting our house on the market in 2 weeks.
I will leave you now with warm thoughts and the hopes that Ruth comes back home today. Enjoy your day. Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It all begins with the first step

The sun never quite made it out today. I know it's up there somewhere. We didn't get any rain either.... just
a gloomy Gus kind of day. I lit the candles and stitched a bit.
It feels like the calm before the storm. There's a feeling in the air. Not a bad feeling, just an uncertainty that hovers, just outside of grasp.
We are just about to put the house on the market. I have a feeling things will go fast. Packing, and purging. 30 years is a very long time to live in a home. It's an exciting new chapter in my book of life.
I do know that I miss writing on here terribly and even though I have been hesitant to get on here again, I now know that I will be wanting to share parts of my life with very important people.
I've been spending a lot of time walking around Lindo Lake. These are just a few photos of the many birds I love to watch.
Until later then, Blessings, Sue