The Cabin

The Cabin

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Missoula Children's Theatre-Robinson Crusoe

This is the fourth time I have written about the Missoula Children's Theatre.  Twice a year they come to Green Lake Wisconsin.  On Monday, they auditioned children from the area for a play.  This summer it was for Robinson Crusoe or a loosely interpreted version of the story.  Then all week the children practice.  They learn the story, songs, and practice their lines. By Saturday afternoon, the show must go on.  It always amazes me how two or three young adults from the Missoula Montana theatre group can come to a strange town and organize and teach a cast of almost sixty children of all ages to be ready to give a performance in five short days.

Our granddaughter participated in Robin Hood (http://www.thecabincountess.com/2015/02/enjoying-another-missoula-theater.html),
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (http://www.thecabincountess.com/2013/06/missoula-childrens-theatre-snow-white.html) and
The Secret Garden (http://www.thecabincountess.com/2013/01/missoula-childrens-theatre.html).

It was a great experience for her and led her to having acting parts in two middle school plays and eight high school plays.  Now it is our youngest grandchild's turn.  He is nine and auditioned for the first time.  He was part of the Very Hairy Frowny-Face Tribe.



Ewan was excited and really enjoyed his experience.  It was a big commitment and a lot of hours.  They practiced from 4:00pm until 8:30pm each day.  The next show will be The Snow Queen next January 20-25, 2020.  I wonder if he will want to participate in that show.

Here are a few pictures of Ewan as a Very Hairy Frowny-Face.  Sometimes he frowned but he also smiled.









So that's a wrap.  Big brother Dylan was able to get off work in time for most of the evening performance.  The day was a big success.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Our Grandchildren's Graduation From High School

The last two weeks have been full of proud moments for grandparents.  We had our two oldest grandchildren graduate from high school.  Our oldest is a girl named Melissa.  She loves to sing and act.  It started when she was young.  She participated in the Missoula Children's Theater and has been in school performances since 7th grade.  One of the ladies who does the costumes for all the plays, made this pillow.  It has eight pictures on it, one for each play she was in during the four years of high school.  They did one musical and one drama per year.  It is a treasure.


This year was especially fun for her.  She got a first rating for a solo at the State Solo and Ensemble competition.  She sang 100 Ways to Lose a Man from the musical Wonderful Town.


She also sang a solo (When I'm 64) and duet (Cover Is Not the Book from Mary Poppins Returns) at the final performance of the choir she was in.  Then came graduation day.  She is ready and her parents are ready but for me it's hard to accept she is done with this phase of her life.  Hopefully there are good times ahead with college and work and friends.




Our second oldest grandchild is Dylan.  He is 10 months younger than Melissa, but also graduated this year.  Dylan plays in the high school band and the saxophone group he was in won a first rating at the State Solo and Ensemble competition. 


This spring he  played Ali Hakim, a Persian peddler, in Oklahoma the Musical.  He's posing afterward with his little brother Ewan.  Ewan dressed as a cowboy for the performance.  I also see acting in his future.


Dylan's real love, however, is Math and Physics.  He is a person who uses both sides of his brain.  He has the artsy side and the math and science side.  Within the past year he has traveled to Cal Tech to work with NASA on a project and to Seattle to work on an Astronomy project.  He was valedictorian so he got to spend the day at Lambeau Field in Green Bay as part of the Best of the Class sponsored by a Green Bay television station.  Various kids will be featured on this station throughout the summer.


Leading up to graduation was a band concert, awards ceremony, tennis banquet and other finales to an awesome high school career.  His mother isn't quite ready to let him go off on his own, but I believe he is ready.  Fall will bring many new adventures and opportunities in college.



Then last weekend my daughters had the graduation party.  It was a combined party on a beautiful day and many people came to celebrate.








This spring has been very busy but fun.  It was a new experience for my husband and me.  Hopefully we will be healthy enough to experience this with the rest of our grandchildren.  My one regret is that I didn't get pictures with us and the graduates.  So much was going on, we missed that photo opportunity.  We did, however, get pictures of the M & M's.  It's all about priorities.



  Now it's time for everyone to enjoy the summer before they are onto their next adventure.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Baking Bananas For Extra Sweetness

Are there times when you want to make banana bread, banana muffins or something else with bananas?  Many times we don't have any bananas on hand or they are much too green.  Bananas freeze very well for baking.  If you have some bananas that are past their prime for eating, freeze them.  You can either peel them and put them in a plastic bag or freeze them with the peel on.  If you do this, you will always have the main ingredient for baking.  The very ripe bananas are the sweetest and make the best baked goods.  If you have bananas that are too green, there is a way to make them suitable for baking.  My example bananas are almost ripe enough but I wanted them slightly riper.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Put the bananas on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment paper.  You need the paper because as they bake, the bananas give off a sticky liquid which sticks to an unlined baking pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes.  They will turn completely black on the outside.


Let the bananas cool before peeling.  They will be very hot inside.  When cool, peel the banana.  It will be very soft inside and can be used to bake your banana bread or muffins.


I had to ripen my bananas because I had a recipe to try.  I often watch Kelly and Ryan in the morning.  Recently Kelly made banana pancakes.  They are gluten free, and I am always looking for easy recipes for my daughter.

Banana Pancakes

3 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup almond butter
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
a dash of sea salt

Mix these ingredients together to make the batter and make the pancakes as you do any pancake.  They turned out fine, and they looked like a pancake.


I have to say they were good.  I can understand if a person can't have a "real" pancake and has to be gluten free, this is an excellent option.  It's similar to the pumpkin pancakes I wrote about five years ago.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2014/09/pumpkin-pancakes-and-crockpot-pumpkin.html

As for myself, I like pancakes made with flour, oil, sugar and eggs.  Maybe that's why I weigh what I do and Kelly Ripa weighs the same as I did as a small child.  Even if you don't like the pancakes, the method for baking the bananas is an excellent one.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Mother's Day Buffet That Was For The Birds

It's Mother's Day weekend.  It's time to celebrate mother's of all kinds.  Some women are mothers to their dogs and cats, some to human children or some women just take the day to celebrate themselves.  Many of us are going out for brunch to a restaurant, are going to someone else's home or just staying home to relax.  Some mom's stay home and their children cook for them.  It's a sweet gesture, but sometimes it's more work for the moms cleaning up but she will never tell the kids that.

Although I didn't have to cook and my son-in-law's mother Beth made a delicious brunch, I set out a buffet for my feathered friends.  I put out a dish of grape jelly and made a special birdseed bundt cake made with meal worms, sunflower seeds, peanuts and regular birdseed blend.  I had many varieties of birds enjoying either the jelly, the cake or both.


My first visitors were the bluejays.  Papa took mama out to eat for Mother's Day

A Catbird which liked both the jelly and the cake.

A Downy Woodpecker

A Hairy Woodpecker

A Red Bellied Woodpecker

A Red Winged Blackbird

A Tufted Titmouse

A male Rose Breasted Grosbeak

A female rose breasted Grosbeak

A Chickadee

A male white breasted Nuthatch

A Red Breasted Nuthatch

Mr. and Mrs. Northern Cardinal

An Immature Orchard Oriole

A male Baltimore Oriole

This female Baltimore Oriole and soon to be mom showed up with some nesting material.

She had to put down the nesting material to eat but soon was on her way.

We had several different birds at other feeders.  I saw finches, woodpeckers, a variety of sparrows, blackbirds and starlings,  but this is a sampling of those who ate at the buffet.  We all, including myself, had a great day.