Friday, April 29, 2011

Neither of my digital cameras do well with red.
Where is that Kodak film?

the party

I woke up early Friday morning. Coughing.

A good drink of water would solve the problem, so I got up, knowing that I would not get back to sleep really soon.

For some reason I turned on the TV, which I rarely do that time of morning and was immediately informed that today was THE day. The big wedding. And I saw it live, lucky me.

Those Brits know how to throw a wedding. If there was a budget it had a LOT of zeros!

Early on what I found fascinating (besides the outright gaudiness of those uniforms -- and the size of the women’s hats) was all of those black cars.

Of course I was sure they were all Rolls Royces, but then I read that Audi furnishes at least some of the fleet of cars for the royals. Hmm. Audi is a division of Volkswagen who also own some of the RR franchise (BMW owns another hunk).

There was one old Rolls I imagine, that had spare tires mounted into the front fender, on each side. Tall and rather solid looking. The car the groom and his brother arrived in was ultra sleek and frankly beautiful.

Can't forget the horses. After the ceremony horses showed up with another series of wild uniforms. The carriage that the couple rode in was a hundred years old. Glad they didn’t try to make the trip in an English car of that vintage! I am not a great horse fancier, but I can admire a good horse.

Any way it was a great show.

I photographed a lot of weddings in my misguided youth, and I have often wondered if there is a correlation between the amount a wedding costs and just about anything else.

Still don’t know.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My weird bridge.

my bus

Anonymous wrote that she had very good experiences with her VW. I am glad.

Hers was quite a bit newer than mine, that may be the secret.

My all time favorite rig in so many ways, was my VW bus. I had a bed in it and slept in it often. There was not a huge amount of space, but it was enough.

Once we were working in Pocatello, Idaho setting tile in a Bank. Friday we finished early and I decided to go to Ogden Utah, to see my brother who was living near there. It was a beautiful fall day.

I was driving along enjoying the view, going about 55 mph, a comfortable speed for the old girl. Then it jumped out of gear. No warning, nothing, just snap.

The engine had just frozen up.

I caught a ride somewhere, called my brother and he came with his pickup and towed me to his place.

I remember I pulled the engine out (not a big job) and took it to Idaho to rebuild it. What I remember most was putting the engine back in with a foot of snow on the ground. Your hands are never as cold as they are when covered by wet cold snow.

Back home, I visited the best VW shop in Boise. It was lunch time and all the guys were sitting around. I asked them what they drove and all drove VW’s. Then I asked how often they rebuilt their engines. “Every year” was the answer.

“Are you aware that there are Toyota’s out there with two hundred thousand miles that haven’t had the head off yet?” Yes they knew.

So I went home and sold my whole collection. Should have bought a Toyota I guess, but about that time we inherited my mother-in-law’s Pinto, but that is another bad story!
A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. - Anonymous

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Generally i have a live and let live attitude.

I try to not start trouble, though it seems I do often.

Even the critters that frequent my garden are welcome to a bit of the bounty. But when the critters get greedy then we have trouble.

One year the gophers took about half of my potato crop. They would not eat the whole potato, but enough so it mess it up.

Last year they were in the corn patch and the back lawn. Really messed up the lawn, but it is back in the orchard where looks don't matter too much.

But since I need to rotate my garden crops I am growing potatoes in area this year. The old guy is active. He kicked up three mounds in a day. I dug into one and set a trap, but the wily old guy filled my trap with dirt, and didn't even set it off.

So now it is war.

I bought some gopher bait today and poured some of it down a couple holes. Never used the stuff before. Don't know how it will work, but it is war.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Texas pinks

There were not many Texas agricultural products I found wonderful.

The potatoes were not good at all, but there was always Idaho's back there somewhere.

Onions were OK, but not as good as Oregon/Idaho. Onions are a very major part of our ag industry around these parts. There are thousands and thousands of acres planted each year. In the fall the whole area has that low level onion smell, sort of like a good meal!

But the one thing that Texas grows that are the very best (in my jaded opinion) are those pink grapefruits. Unfortunately the season is over now, at least at my market, but for several months they are plentiful and inexpensive. Last trip to the grocer I bought a couple of pinks from somewhere else, and they weren't bad, but not as good as those grown in Texas.

They are grown in what is called "the valley." Since much of Texas is pretty flat (exceptions: the "hill country" around Austin and way west Texas where there are serious mountains) I have never figured out how it came to be called "the valley."

So, next season when you see smallish grapefruit (they have very thin skins), look for the Texas label.

I don't think you will be sorry.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Those who need to know understand.


if you ask Miriam what her job is, she will tell you it is to make cookies.

She will go on about how her husband (me, so far) just loves cookies. That is true. But it is also a conundrum.

A long time ago she bought a cook book of "mixes". It suggests making a big batch of this basic mix and then using it for all sorts of things. Not a bad idea. Bisquick is a commercial product that comes to mind.

The problem is that it involves two different recipes and they are in the same book and it is easy to get confused and easy to mess up. Her cookies have been less and less consistent, even from the same recipe.

What to do. I am not sure that making them is so fabulously good for her that she needs to continue, neither am I sure that she should not. Indeed she gets satisfaction, when things go right.

The other part of the problem is that she makes 2 or 3 dozen cookies at a time, puts them in a plastic bag and that in an old chocolate drink can. In a day or two they are all welded into one big lump. You eat crumbs or you eat a 1 and 1/4" thick cookie sandwich.

This morning, before she gets up, I think I'll put the mix recipe away, and make up a batch of dough and then put it all in the refer. After breakfast when I'll suggest that she bake the cookies.

Stilll they will glue together. One problem solved one (or more) to go. I could (and might) just stop eating them, so there is always some in the can!