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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

THE "GARDEN"

My blogging friend, Steve in London, has returned from his and Dave's week-long vacation in Cambodia and Vietnam and wrote today about the work he had to do in their amazing back yard.

He said he even had to mow the grass and stake up some of the plants and other tasks.

Which got me to thinking that I should write a short blog post about OUR garden, which has been doing quite well in our monsoon season.


It's not much when compared with Steve's verdant backyard.

Ours is just a few pots of herbs on our back patio.

But it's been supplying a good amount of basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, and mint.

I've never grown fresh herbs before and I'm learning about all I've missed.

I use some basil, some oregano and some parsley both in and on our Friday Night Pizzas and they give them an extra special kick.

Last night Judy made an Italian casserole out of some leftover pasta and red sauce that I had cooked up last week and she threw a handful of herbs into the middle of it, along with some mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.

It was wonderful!

By the way, do you know how to finish off a meal like that?

It may sound strange but it's a taste treat.

Just dunk your remaining slices of garlic toast in your glass of red wine before consuming them.

But back to the "garden".

Our cherry tomato plant is getting leggy but producing a lot of fruit.

And last night, Judy dug up the trumpet vine she had planted that wasn't doing well in the ground and replanted it in a pot next to the tomato plant.


She said that after getting a trim of dead leaves and being staked up and watered it was looking better.

I said maybe it was pining away out of loneliness and just needed a close neighbor.

Only time will tell.

Friday, July 27, 2018

THE FRIDAY FUNNIES

For those who care, yesterday's Cherry Clafoutis was scrumptious.

In fact, SWMBO just told me it is "drop dead wonderful".

High praise from a masterful home cook.

But we are not gathered here, Gentle Readers, to praise your (not so) humble choir director.

We are here to spread cheer throughout the land, and in fact, the world.

It is, you see, time for The Friday Funnies!








Okay, if you are now chuckling, chortling or perhaps guffawing, my work for the day is nearly over.

Except to wish you a warmhearted wish for a weekend complete with wondrous whimsicalities and weightless woolgatherings.

And watch out for the whippersnappers.

Oh yes, and always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

I said HERE, KITTY-KITTY . . .

(oh, never mind)


Thursday, July 26, 2018

HEY! I'M BAKIN' HERE!

Actually, Dustin Hoffman's Ratso never said that in Midnight Cowboy.

But I thought it seemed right for this blog post.

Today we're going to France, thanks to the former Chez Panisse pastry chef and now resident of Paris, David Lebovitz.

If you look over to the right, you can find a link to his blog.

But today is cherry season when there is an abundance of the wonderful fruit and the prices are low.

So what do we do with "just a bowl of cherries"?

We make a cherry clafoutis, that's what we do.


The classic French dessert can really puff up just before it comes out of the oven.

But once out on a cooling rack, it begins to sink rapidly, like a souffle.


There are a ton of recipes for this beauty on the World Wide Web.

Some say to pit the cherries, some say not to pit the cherries.

Lebovitz said to pit them but I was feeling lazy so they went in with the pits remaining.

Just have to remember they're in there when we're devouring this thing.


You can sprinkle the top with some powdered (confectioner's) sugar before you dive in, if you like.

As Lebovitz says, "..it's made to be a rustic, casual dessert, so feel free to personalize it."

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

THE GUEST BLOGGER PONTIFICATES!

I don't know if you pay any attention to the amazingly clever titles I put on these posts but if you read this one you'd see that we have a guest blogger.

She is, in fact, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed), the slightly amused wife of yours truly.

So, Judy, take it away.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

While cleaning the grill for our last BBQ meal our wire-brush grill cleaner bit the dust.

I commented, "We need a new grill brush before next time.  I want to choose it."

So Bruce went to Walmart for some items today.

He came home with a monster tool that weighs about 2 pounds, has loops and teeth on one side and wire brush bristles on the other.

It looks like a weapon of war.





As I was examining and hefting this "tool", I noticed the pièce de résistance.

Protruding from the handle is A BEER BOTTLE OPENER!

Also known in some circles as a CHURCH KEY!


This tool was manufactured in China, of course.

It WAS from Walmart.


Do you realize that if the big tariffs take place against China, we may not be able to afford essential tools like this?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

SPINNING OUT OF THE PAST

I was surprised to receive an email from my nephew Larry, of Minot, North Dakota today.

He said he had just finished restoring a bicycle that belonged to my cousin Cherie.

He had retrieved it from a loft in a shed that had to be torn down after a flood a few years ago.

Cherie said she believed the bike dated back to around 1949.  

When she (who just celebrated another birthday) and I were 9 years old!


The bicycle had a police bicycle license on it that was dated 1956.

Larry said everything on he bike was original except for the tires and that it now rode as good as new.

However, that was when bikes were bikes and he said at 52-plus pounds it was really only good for riding downhill!

And here's the real treat for me - a photo of Cherie and her bike along with my only sibling, my brother Wayne, who will turn 85 in less than a week!


Something about those Norsky North Dakotans seems to keep them young at any age.

Monday, July 23, 2018

CLOUD ON FIRE


It's only lit by the setting sun but it looks like a painting.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

BAKING, MORE BAKING, GRILLING, FINE EATING

I began the day, after watching the final round of the British Open golf tournament aka "The Open", by baking a couple of loaves of English Muffin Bread.

Later in the day, SWMBO demonstrated her skill by making a Plum and Cherry Crumble.


And then, just to show off even more, she grilled chicken and corn on the cob this evening.


Dinner was incredible and we were so stuffed we have not yet sampled the fruit crumble dessert.

We have decided we may have that for breakfast tomorrow.


She said, "We're old now.  We can do that."

Friday, July 20, 2018

THE FRIDAY FUNNIES

Against all odds, and the latest Tweets, it is time once again to have a little fun and test those age wrinkles smile lines in our faces.

What better time than right now (time may differ depending on when you read this) for some advice about drinking, right?


Or dieting.






Or relaxation in public.


Or budgeting.


Well, I could go on and on but maybe I'll just take this advice on that.


Now one last bit of advice from the Catalyst: go out there and have a grand, gracious, grandiloquent, non-grating weekend full of ginning and grinning.

And don't forget to laugh!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(uh-oh)


Thursday, July 19, 2018

R.I.P. BLACKWELL

I sent our beloved cat Blackwell to his reward this afternoon.

He had grown ill and stopped eating several weeks ago.

He drank water but, as far as we could tell, consumed no food and he grew smaller and weaker.

Today when he slipped while turning around on the window shelf in front of me I finally accepted that his time had come.

The Yavapai Humane Society handled his passing.

We'll miss him.


In an earlier, better time

Monday, July 16, 2018

STARTING A NEW WEEK




This Monday isn't all that bad.

At least the sun is shining.


I just checked my nearest Weather Underground reporting station and the precipitation total from yesterday's thunderstorm has risen from 0.67 to 0.82 of an inch.

Still less than an inch but rain can be spotty and the local newspaper estimates there may have been up to 2 inches in the hardest hit areas.

At any rate there are cattle lying down in the damp grass of the field near us and most of the water has either run off or soaked into the ground.

I was awake from roughly 2:00 to 4:00 this morning and foolishly turned my computer on.

So, in spite of a couple of naps, I'm kind of punchy today.

Therefore, school is let out and you may now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast: The Horrors of Helsinki.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

WHEN IT RAINS IN ARIZONA

If you've been paying attention over the past few years you know that Arizona and much of the Southwest and the Far West of the United States have been in drought conditions.

Here's what happens when we get a lot of rain in a short period of time like we did this afternoon.


That and all of the waterlogged areas you'll see in the following photos are a normally tinder-dry field just a very short distance from where we live.








Fortunately we live uphill from where all this water is flowing and collecting but some people further down the hill may not have been so lucky.

We saw fire crews out blocking the roads through a low-lying area.

Our thoughts are with folks who may live down there.

Incidentally, the nearest Weather Underground reporting station, less than half a mile from our house, lists just over two-thirds of an inch of rain from this afternoon's thunderstorm.

FRANCE WINS THE WORLD CUP!


The French are the champions of futbol/soccer after defeating Croatia in the final match by a score of 4 to 2.


No one was happier, it seems, than French President Emmanuel as he exchanged congratulations with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.




Saturday, July 14, 2018

Friday, July 13, 2018

THE FRIDAY FUNNIES

Okay so it's Friday the 13th, so what.

I've already had all the bad luck any man could tolerate so I'm ignoring the date.

(He said as he just wrote about it.  🙄)

Let's get on with this week's hilarious (he hopes) edition of The Friday Funnies.












Awwww-right!

(I'll just betcha that last one has you sayin' "awwwww".)

Now for your quixotic weekend, no more quiritation, instead follow your quipsome host and spend your time with quignogs and quandorums.

You'll be surprised - next Friday will be here quicksticks!

(You have no idea the intensive research I go through just to wind these festivities up q-tly.

Okay, I made that last one up.  It should be "cutely".)

Ta-ta.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .